Vaccines: The Safest Bet for Healthy Future

Vaccines - The safest bet for healthy future-sri Ramakrishna Hospital

World Immunization day is celebrated every year on November 10 to increase awareness about the importance of getting timely vaccinations against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Immunization saves millions of lives and is considered to be one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. History has shown us that vaccines actually eliminated diseases! How can one forget the worldwide immunization effort that eliminated smallpox? How can one ignore the role played by vaccination in causing the almost global eradication of Polio? Why people, all around the world are in hot pursuit to discover a vaccine for the raging Corona Pandemic? Truly speaking, immunization is indeed a great accomplishment of modern medicine. In fact, today most children and adults lead a much healthier life because of the routine immunization practices. As per WHO, immunization is solely responsible for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to prevent around 2-3 million deaths every year.

What are Immunization and Vaccination?

Immunization is a process by which a person is made immune or resistant to infectious disease with the help of a vaccine. Vaccination is the process of administrating the vaccine. The vaccine stimulates the immune system so that it can recognize the disease thereby protecting it from future infections.

Why is Immunization important?

“Prevention is better than cure”

As Parents, we always wish the best for our children and are willing to do everything possible to ensure their health and safety. Vaccination is the best way to do that. Illness comes with a risk of complications, disability, hospitalization, and sometimes even death. So when given a choice between either getting vaccinated or contracting a disease, vaccination seems to be the better way out. Immunization helps to protect the child from life-threatening diseases. It also helps to reduce the spread of disease to others. Organizations like WHO and the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) strongly support protecting children with vaccinations. We all owe a commitment to our society, to protect everyone by vaccinating our own family members.

How safe are vaccines?

Vaccination is safe and effective. In fact, vaccines are some of the most stringently tested medicines in the world and are continually monitored for safety for as long as they are used. All vaccines undergo a tedious and careful review before they are finally approved for use. Similar to all medicines, vaccines do come with some risk, most side effects are being mild such as fever or soreness at the injection site. It is important to remember that the risk of developing complications from a preventable disease is far greater than the risk of having an adverse reaction from the vaccine. All reputable scientific data supports the fact that the vast majority of children who are vaccinated have only positive outcomes. Therefore, vaccination is definitely a healthy choice.

What if we stop vaccinating?

Herd immunity – or community immunity – is presented when a large percentage of the population is vaccinated and protects the entire community. Our choice to vaccinate thus affects the entire community. If vaccinations are stopped, even temporarily, there would be the re-emergence of diseases that are nearly under control today.

Take Home Message

Nearly all parents have questions about vaccines or are concerned about the immunization schedule or safety of the vaccines. There is no dearth of information available from all possible sources. It’s important to be vigilant about the accuracy of the information and feel free to talk to the doctor or health care provider regarding the same.

Follow the immunization schedule strictly. Keep a track of the immunization record and carry it along during the vaccination visits. Always consult your doctor before getting the vaccinations done.

  • Vaccines are safe and effective
  • Vaccines prevent deadly diseases
  • Vaccines provide better immunity than natural infections
  • If we stop vaccination, the disease will reemerge

Vaccinating is a socially conscious choice, and we care about immunizations because we care about our communities.

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