Vaccines have and will save lives

In 1921, for example, 206,000 cases of diphtheria were recorded, which resulted in 15,520 deaths. Following the introduction of the vaccine, however, deaths from diphtheria fell from nearly 4073 during 1926″1935, and were only reduced to zero from 1996″2000.

Similarly, the deaths for whooping cough following the introduction of vaccines fell from 2808 during 1926″1935 to only nine during 1996″2000.

For measles, the incidence fell from 1102 during 1926″1935 to zero during 1996″2000 and poliomyelitis fell from 1103 during 1946″1956 to zero during 1996″2000.

These are just some of the examples that highlight the benefits of vaccination.

More recently, however, there has been an increase in all these diseases and many more.

A number of possible factors appear to be responsible for these unwarranted increases; one of the main reasons being the public fear of the side effects of vaccinations.

Most vaccines are given by injection and it is expected that there will be some soreness at the site where the needle is inserted. In some cases, vaccinated people may feel slightly feverish but most recover in a day or so.

The reduced numbers of those vaccinating their children against diseases is a cause for concern because the side effects of disease are far more severe than those of vaccination.

For example, an infant who contracts whooping cough and is not vaccinated can be severely brain damaged.

Another probable factor that affects compliance with the recommended vaccination schedule is the cost of the vaccines. For many elderly, retired or socially disadvantaged people, the cost of vaccines means they are often unaffordable.

This is a shame as these very people can be at greatest risk.

The fact is that safe and effective vaccines in use have saved millions of lives worldwide and will continue to do so as long as the recommended vaccination schedules are followed and until improved vaccines that are affordable to the masses become available.