Vaccines for Life

“Immunisation has been a great public health success story. The lives of millions of children have been saved, millions have the chance of a longer healthier life, a greater chance to learn, to play, to read and write, to move around freely without suffering.” Nelson Mandela, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, 1993

Vaccination is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions available. According to the World Health Organisation, vaccines save up to three million lives annually and protect a further three-quarters of a million from the destructive consequences of disease. They estimate that a further one and a half million lives could be saved by increasing vaccination uptake rates globally. It is crucial the vaccine uptake rates are maintained at high levels to protect oneself, one’s family and the wider population.

Myths and facts

Facts save lives, myths can destroy them. Myths about vaccines have been proven to effect vaccination uptake rates. This can result in the unnecessary spread of vaccine-preventable disease, disability and even the loss of life. It is crucial that the facts are presented to the public in a clear and concise manner.

The fact is... vaccines save lives.

With the exception of clean, safe drinking water, no human endeavor rivals vaccination in combating infectious diseases and reducing mortality rates. Vaccines have been used to protect people from what were once common and often fatal diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria, typhoid and the plague; and more recently polio, rubella, measles, mumps, hepatitis B and meningococcal B and C. Once a disease ‘disappears’, its burden can be quickly forgotten. Unfortunately, unless completely eradicated, infectious diseases have a tendency to return. Continued high vaccination uptake rates are vital to ensure the sustained protection of individuals and populations.

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