Many diseases once ran rampant around the world. Advances in medicine have now changed that in many countries and are keeping those diseases from spreading to epidemic proportions, and in some cases have almost eliminated the diseases altogether.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between two million to three million lives are ultimately saved each year by immunizations. With significant vaccine development and preparation, along with vaccine research continuing around the world, contracting measles, chickenpox, and rubella, among others, is no longer the norm.
Older adults and children are especially susceptible to such illnesses because their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight off certain diseases. This fact makes staying current with immunizations imperative.
Vaccinations Prevent Against Illnesses
Preventing an illness from taking hold is easier than trying to treat a patient after they’ve developed a problem.
According to the Mayo Clinic, tens of thousands of adults succumb to vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States every year as well as hundreds of children. By getting vaccinated, you receive the protection that you need to remain healthy.
Around the world, controversy and uncertainty still fill the minds of some as to whether vaccinations are safe, especially for children. Because of these concerns, it remains every parent’s responsibility to research the facts and make the choice they feel is right for their family.
However, there are at least four good reasons everyone to continue to get vaccinated.
Reasons to Get Vaccinated
1. Community Protection — The chances of contracting and spreading diseases to others lowers dramatically when vaccination rates rise.
Some people are not able to receive vaccinations for medical reasons. Other people may not respond to a vaccine. With more of the population vaccinated than not, however, everyone becomes better protected.
2. Epidemic Prevention — When too many people stop getting vaccinations, the people they care about the most, and even entire populations, are placed at risk.
The aforementioned diseases and many others still exist around the world, and people bring those diseases into the U.S. all the time. With vaccination rates remaining high in this country, occurrences of those diseases spreading remain low. Without vaccinations, however, epidemics can return.
3. Limiting the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance— Some bacteria-related diseases are now becoming resistant to antibiotics because of overuse. One such disease is multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis.
By getting immunized, you’re lowering your chances of contracting diseases and infections, and therefore lessening the need for antibiotic treatment. As such, you won’t add to the problem that already exists.
4. Future Generations — By continuing to vaccinate ourselves and our families, we’re helping to protect the current generation and everyone who comes after us.
If vaccination rates continue to increase, so that all traces of certain diseases become virtually nonexistent, then they can no longer harm future generations.
If we stop getting vaccinated against one or more diseases that we’ve fought so hard against for decades, they can and will return.
See Also: Vaccinations You May Need as an Adult.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the 1970s, Japan vaccinated 80 percent of their children against pertussis, and very few got sick. Two years later, amid controversy over the safety and necessity of inoculations, only 10 percent got vaccinated.
This decline in immunizations resulted in approximately 13,000 children getting sick, many of whom died. Once the government restarted pertussis vaccinations, the occurrences returned to previously lower levels.
The importance and benefits of staying current with your immunizations are well documented and understood. When you get vaccinated, you protect yourself, your family, and your entire community. Consult with a doctor or visit your local hospital or clinic for more information.