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World Immunization Week
World Immunization Week is celebrated from April 24-30th this year, and is a time to spread the word and ensure everyone is protected from vaccine preventable diseases. In order to celebrate this week it is important to understand a few things:
What is a Vaccine?
- A product that stimulates a person's immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from the disease.
- Vaccine's are usually administered through needle injections, but can also be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose.
- Vaccines contain the same or similar substances that cause diseases, but the disease causing effects are removed. This helps the immune system recognize and be prepared for certain diseases, in cases you come into contact with them in the future.
The Importance of Immunization
- It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs.
- Diseases that used to be common in this country and around the world, including polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whopping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) can now be prevented by vaccination.
- Through vaccination, children can develop immunity without suffering from the actual disease that vaccines prevent.
Can Vaccines Make You Sick?
- No, the substances in vaccines are either killed, or weakened to the point that they don't cause disease.
- However, they are strong enough to make the immune system produce antibodies that lead to immunity.
Importance of Investing in Immunization Efforts
- Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective health tools ever invented.
- Every $1 spent on childhood immunization returns $44 in economic and social benefits thorugh preventing diseases.
- A study found that if we increase vaccine coverage in low and middle income countries by 2030, we could prevent 24 million people from falling into poverty to health expenses.
For more information regarding immunization, please visit the following:
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