The first vaccination was given in 1796 to a 13 year old boy that was inoculated to prove immunity to smallpox. Since this there have been many vaccinations created to help protect us and our communities from preventable diseases. In the last 30 years childhood deaths have decreased by 50%. These vaccinations protect against 20 different diseases from pneumonia to cervical cancer to ebola. On top of keeping people safe with continued use of proper immunizations is helping move towards a future free from smallpox, polio, measles, cervical cancer, and many other diseases. Vaccinations may be one of the greatest scientific innovations and more than 1 billion children have been vaccinated in the last 10 years. Though many children are being vaccinated and there is an increase in access to appropriate vaccines for children and adolescents there are still nearly 20 million children across the world that are missing out on routine vaccinations that could be preventing sickness and death.
While routine immunizations are important for children and adolescents it is important for the community to remember and understand that there are vaccinations that are important for adults and the elderly. For example the annual flu shot, pneumonia, and tetanus. If you are unsure if you are on track with immunizations, ask your provider.
In the last year vaccinations have become a popular topic as the world has been impacted by COVID-19 and scientists worked hard to create a vaccine that was safe and effective to help protect our communities. As of April 25th, 2021 just over 3% of the world’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 7% has received at least the first dose. As the vaccination becomes readily available do your research, ask questions, and remember to keep yourself and others safe while healthcare providers are in process of providing the COVID-19 vaccination.
The 2021 World Health Organization campaign is to increase trust and confidence in vaccinations and increase investment to allow access by providing routine immunizations and providing better access.