Vaccines are extremely necessary for our body. These miraculous biological preparations prepare our body to fight against some deadliest microbes that we know of. There are anti-vaxxers all around the world who dismiss the very concept of vaccination. However, vaccination is a part and parcel of our life. In this Vaccine Facts’ article, we will learn some fantastic vaccine facts and know why they are important. Shall we begin…?
Vaccine Facts 1-10
1. A vaccine is any biological preparation which gives acquired immunity to the body to fight against that particular disease.
2. A vaccine actually contains a part of the microbe or a weakened microbe. This part of the microbe or weakened microbe when injected in our bloodstream stimulates our body’s immunity system to produce antibodies against the microbe.
3. Once the antibodies are created, the microbe is destroyed in our body.
4. Everything looks fine but what is the use of this vaccine? This vaccine leads to the creation of antibodies in our bodies.
5. This means that the next time we get infected by the powerful or full microbe, we can stay immune from the deadly disease thanks to the antibodies created in our body against the disease.
6. When the vaccination is given to a child, the child usually falls sick and gets fiver. Why is it so? It is the body’s reaction to the weakened or dead microbe. There is nothing to worry about the fever or muscle aches or pain around the injected area.
7. Vaccination became famous when small pox was eradicated almost worldwide. Furthermore, vaccination managed to restrict diseases like polio, tetanus, measles, etc.
8. Edward Jenner was the one who coined the term vaccine. He named it after the virus which causes cow pox (Variole vaccinae). He used it in 1798.
9. In 1881, Louis Pasteur proposed that all the protective inoculations be named as vaccine in honor of Edward Jenner.
10. As of today, there are vaccines for 25 different preventable diseases.
Vaccine Facts 11-20
11. Vaccines prevent over 2.5 million deaths each year!
12. There is no scientific backing to prove that vaccines and autism are related.
13. The diseases that are controlled by vaccine are extremely uncommon in the USA (that is, the diseases are there but it is uncommon to see those diseases affecting Americans). Had the population not been vaccinated, these diseases would have infected hundreds of thousands and killed thousands of people each year.
14. As per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is 99% reduction in bacterial meningitis since the vaccine was introduced against the disease in 1988.
15. There are vaccines for pneumonia and rotavirus which kill nearly 3 million children (below five years of age) every year.
16. Death rate of measles had reduced globally by 78% between 2000 and 2008. In the same timeframe, the death rate of measles reduced by 92% in sub-Saharan Africa.
17. Vaccines cause herd immunity. It means that when most of the people in a given area are immunized against a disease, any unvaccinated person is also less likely to get the disease because others are immunized and don’t get sick and spread the disease.
18. If vaccination is stopped, then there is a good chance of diseases that are nearly eradicated to make a comeback in our lives.
19. In 2016 alone, nearly 116.5 million children below the age of one year had received vaccinations against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus.
20. Vaccine against dengue has been licensed in various countries. Vaccine for malaria was also piloted in three of the African nations in 2018.
Vaccine Facts 21-30
21. Americas has been declared free of measles by WHO in 2016. Meningitis A is nearly eradicated in Africa since the introduction of vaccine of this disease in 2010.
22. As per 2014 study, 85% of the Americans who didn’t go for measles vaccination, did so for religious, personal or philosophical reasons.
23. Vaccines contains very few milligrams of the microbe. The microbe just needs to attack the lymph system of the body to stimulate the reaction from our immunity system.
24. Smallpox is a disease that many people take for granted today because of vaccination but did you know that it is extremely contagious and has a death rate of over 30%?
25. Severe side effects of vaccines are rarer than the side effects seen during the use of medications given to children.
26. There are two types of vaccines broadly speaking – live attenuated and inactivated.
27. Live attenuated vaccine uses weakened virus and inactivated vaccine uses dead virus.
28. Live attenuated vaccine is more effective and it requires cold storage. Inactivated vaccine doesn’t need any cold storage.
29. Vaccines are older than anesthesia and antibiotics!
30. We told you that when the deadly virus attacks after you are immunized against the disease, you don’t suffer from the disease. Instead our body produces antibodies against the virus. The body can produce antibodies because white blood cells have the ability to remember microorganisms that they encountered earlier.
Vaccine Facts 31-40
31. Maurice Hilleman is responsible for the creating 8 of the 14 childhood immunizations in the US. He is certainly an unsung hero.
32. Switzerland vaccinated foxes and nearly eradicated rabies. Country goals, anyone?
33. Ants are known to use social immunization. This means that when one ant is infected by some fungus or microorganism, other ants lick and spread the fungus to the whole colony which makes the colony immune to the fungus.
34. Spain’s King Charles IV wanted to spread the vaccine all over the world. As refrigeration was not present then, they chose 22 orphans. These orphans were given the vaccinations and their blood was used to prepare the vaccines wherever they travelled.
35. It is believed that India and China were the first countries to introduce vaccines (not the way we know though) for small pox. They used to make a cut on a child’s arm and they would rub infected material (of small pox) on the incision.
36. When smallpox vaccine was introduced, scientists knew nearly nothing about viruses.
37. Nearly 14 million children were not vaccinated properly.
38. Thankfully, 9 out of 10 believe that vaccines and vaccination are important.
39. Ban on inoculation started in France in the year 1763. French Parliament declared that no further inoculation to be given to people in Paris.
40. Anti-vaccination started in the USA in 1879 when William Tebb, a British anti-vaccinationist, visited the United States of America.