Benefits of vaccines
Many people do not know that dreadful diseases like whooping cough (pertussis), mumps, diphtheria, yellow fever, smallpox, german measles (rubella), etc. have existed since hundreds of years. In the 18th and 19th century, many people were infected with these, especially children. Today these diseases are all forgotten, thanks to the arrival of vaccines!
Vaccines have the following advantages:
- Vaccines can act as immunity supporters - they can help your immune system to learn how to fight against an infection. They can provide protection against some diseases and help us lead healthier lives.
- Vaccination not just protects you but also the people surrounding you – When one person is vaccinated, he/ she helps prevent the disease from being spread to others surrounding him/her including:
- Children and adults who haven’t got vaccinated
- Babies who are too young to get vaccinated
- People with a weakened immune system, especially those who suffer from chronic diseases like HIV, cancer etc.
- The elderly
- People who are allergic to vaccine components
- Vaccines prevent unnecessary medical costs later² – when a child falls sick, along with the concern and stress, parents need to bear even the medicine costs, hospital admission expenses, etc. So vaccination as per schedule will not only protect health and but save money as well as unnecessary worries later. Prevention is better than cure so it is a good idea to prevent a disease from occurring rather than to treat it.
- Vaccines are safe – Vaccines are subjected to rigorous and scientific safety testing. Hence, they are extremely safe. If one is vaccinated, he/she is protected from those diseases for which vaccination has been administered.
- Vaccines save from complications of the disease - When a child is vaccinated early in life, he is indirectly protected against serious & complicated diseases.¹ Thus even if one gets the disease, its intensity and resulting complications are likely to be far less. A healthy childhood means a healthy growth for the child and bestowing a healthier life in future!
- Immunization protects future generations – It is scientifically proven that, vaccines have found to reduce, and in some cases, eliminate many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For instance, smallpox disease does not exist anymore! Now children do not have to get smallpox shots as the disease has been eradicated worldwide.³ It is observed that pregnant women infected with a disease called German measles (Rubella) are likely to spread the disease to their baby. However, vaccination can prevent the baby from getting the disease. Also, the risks & birth defects associated with this disease are now eradicated.
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- Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Feb 7;2:CD011787..
- J Mark Access Health Policy. 2015 Aug 12;3.
- Eur J Pediatr. 2017 Mar 10
- Vaccine. 2016 Dec 20;34(52):6672-6680.
- J Med Ethics. 2016 Dec;42(12):762-768
- Vaccine. 2017 Mar 14;35(12):1579-1585