With the exception of clean, safe drinking water, vaccination is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions ever. However, its success is increasingly under threat as vaccination rates continue to fall below the required 95% uptake rate needed to ensure ‘herd protection’. A direct result of this is an increase in the number of global outbreaks of serious diseases such as measles. The World Health Organisation identifies vaccine hesitancy among the top 10 threats to global health in 2019. This hesitancy is caused by a number of elements including misinformation, complacency and varying societal factors. Vaccines have potentially become a victim of their own success with people becoming desensitised to the potentially devastating effects of vaccine preventable diseases. Vaccine hesitancy puts lives at risk. The best way to protect populations against these diseases is through the provision of the facts and high uptake rates of vaccination.
MEASLES IS PREVENTABLE. 2019 has seen outbreaks all over the World, including Ireland. It is a highly infectious and a serious disease that can cause chest infections, fits, ear infections, swelling on the brain, brain damage and death.
The IPHA welcomes the announcement by Minister Harris that he intends to establish an alliance of likeminded stakeholders to tackle the ongoing misinformation about vaccines. It is vital that health systems present the facts about vaccination in a clear and concise manner. The fact is…… vaccines work. They save lives and protect the wider community. It is important that people are aware of the facts so that they can take the required steps to protect themselves and those around them.
Vaccination saves up to 3 million lives each year and is arguably one of the top medical discoveries of all time. Vaccine hesitancy poses serious threat to public health by fuelling the spread of these often fatal diseases. Protect yourself and others.
ARE YOU IN AN AT RISK GROUP?
Vaccines are important for all stages of life. It is often the case that people are not aware that they need to receive a vaccine. Pregnant women, women of childbearing age, people with compromised immune systems and people aged 65 and older are among the groups of ‘at risk’ people who should receive specific vaccines to protect themselves and those around them.
“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.