Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay Assignment Paper
Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay Assignment Paper
Should Vaccination be Mandatory?
Smallpox was one of the deadliest diseases of the 20th century. In America, smallpox spread among the population at a very fast rate and killed over 50% of all those who contracted it. It was estimated that over 300 million people across the world. The spread of the disease was witnessed more during and after the First World War. Inoculated vaccinations, the smallpox was introduced by Jenner Edwards. There are countless other diseases that have vaccines which protect people from contracting diseases. Development of vaccines was a game changer in the field of medicine. Instead, searching for cures of diseases, focus on vaccines prevents the spread of disease which eventually eradicates the disease from the face of the earth as was the case with smallpox (De Soto, 23). Mandatory vaccination has been a debatable topic for years, due to the loss of lives caused by diseases whose vaccines are available. Thesis: Mandatory vaccination should be implemented in the United States to help eradicate diseases whose vaccines are available as well as save the lives of children from deadly diseases.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
From a historical perspective, the debate on making vaccinations mandatory has been in existence for centuries. There are numerous societies that have a negative opinion on vaccinations, while an even larger group of people are ignorant of the significance of vaccinations. The eradication of smallpox, a deadly disease in the 20th century is living proof of the significance of vaccination to the general of all people in the United States (Netzley, 21). Some of the reasons for the resistance to vaccination apart from ignorance is the lack of basic education on facts about vaccines. There are numerous misconceptions help by different groups of people especially those with religious affiliations that don’t believe in modern medicine. However, the general public needs to understand the significance of vaccination through campaigns by the healthcare department.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
The debate on mandatory vaccination is aimed at eradicating diseases that spread and caused death among the people. With mandatory vaccination, the health department is able to deal with diseases that have vaccines and protect generations to come from the effects of such disease. The aspects that prevent the implementation of mandatory vaccination in the united states is the existence of civil rights that needs to be upheld by the government at all cost. Mandatory vaccination in the United States will lead to the violation of the civil rights granted to the United States citizen by the constitution (Offit, 17).
The need for mandatory vaccination, however, is based on the fact that vaccines are quite helpful in the protection of the lives of people and those around them. Research indicates that millions of lives have been saved due to the introduction of numerous vaccines across the world. The United States Center for Disease control CDC is one of the organizations in the United States tasked with studying and preventing the spread of diseases (De Soto, 27). Reports from the CDC show that vaccines are safe and probably the most significant invention in the field of medicine in the 20th century. The need for mandatory vaccinations arises from the high cases of disease spreading and deaths which result from diseases that vaccines are available in healthcare facilities across the country.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Some groups of people tend to associate complication in the lives of their children to vaccines given to them during their childhood. There is some shred of truth on that point; there have been several side effects to some groups of people. However, this is not the basis for refuting mandatory vaccinations. In most cases, the categories of people who experience side effects need to be categorized to understand the reason for the side effects on such groups of people and a solution to be determined (Netzley, 41). The mandatory vaccination will help the government ensure that the diseases which can be vaccinated be eradicated through the prevention of their spread to the public. There is numerous deadly disease in the 21st century that still pose a threat to the public including poliomyelitis Such diseases still exist due to the small groups of people who are against vaccinations and hence lead to the continued spread of the diseases. With mandatory vaccination, many diseases will be eradicated from the earth like the case with smallpox.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
The main reasons for vaccination are saving lives through the boosting of the immune system of the children to diseases. Children are the most susceptible to diseases as their immune systems are not fully developed yet. The mandatory vaccination should, therefore, be instituted to help prevent the deaths of children from diseases whose vaccines are available. The government is responsible for the development of treatment for several diseases every year (Offit, 17). The responsibility of the development of treatments for diseases whose vaccines are available is rather pointless. Vaccines make several diseases obsolete hence the rise significance to the society.
The campaign on vaccines was instituted by the department of healthcare services over the years to make the public be aware of the significance of vaccinations to children and its implications as well. Over the years these campaigns have been successful in creating awareness among the people hence the increased rate of vaccination and its approval from the public (Merino, 25). After the eradication of smallpox from the face of the world, many people’s understood the need for vaccinations hence the high number of Americans who vaccinate. However, the issue arises where several groups of people tend to shy away from vaccination for their own reasons.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
The push for making vaccination mandatory arises from the need to eradicate all diseases that vaccines are available so that the medical research teams can focus on the treatment of other diseases. It is a shame that several years after the development of different vaccines, yet people still contract diseases and succumb to them (De Soto, 33). Christian Scientists, for instance, do not believe in modern medicine. They believe in the healing power of God hence shy away from medical treatments including vaccines. The side effect of such believes lead to the continued existence of diseases which already have vaccines thereby posing threats to the public. Mandatory vaccination not only prevents loss of lives among children but protects the public from the devastation of diseases. In most cases there spread of diseases is attributed to contact with friends and family members, lack of vaccination of even a single member of the family may lead to the spread of diseases (Rech, 34).
The main arguments against mandatory vaccinations are the side effects it has on the human body; there have been a few cases of side effects none of which was fatal. However, the cases changed the perception of some people on vaccination hence the objection to mandatory vaccinations (Merino, 12). Having side effects from vaccines of a disease that doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the public is a very strong argument again mandatory vaccination. With the right to choose whether to vaccinate children or not, the parents of most children who have a negative perception of vaccines end up not vaccinate their children at all.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
The freedom to choose whether to vaccinate or not is guaranteed under the constitution of the United States, this gives the parents the choice to either vaccinate their children or not. Mandatory vaccination will be a direct violation of the civil rights of the United States citizens. The objective of the vaccination campaign is to enlighten the public on the need for vaccination and its implication (Isaacs & Julie, 54). That is the farthest they can go in terms of vaccinations. Saving lives is a credible reason for mandatory vaccinations in a country especially in the effort to eradicate a disease from the planet, however, a violation or any compromise to the civil rights of any person in the United States is a violation of their rights; rights that the country was built on, to begin with.
It can, therefore, be deduced that vaccinations should be made mandatory in the United States for the general health and safety of the public. The existence of vaccines should be used to eradicate several diseases that have led to the loss of lives over the years. Although there have been numerous arguments against mandatory vaccination such as the side effects f the vaccines and violation of the civil liberties of the citizens, the need for mandatory vaccination is for the good of the country hence the need to be implemented Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Vaccines have made it possible to eradicate the scourge of smallpox, promise the same for polio, and have profoundly reduced the threat posed by other diseases such as whooping cough, measles, and meningitis.
What is next? There are many pathogens, autoimmune diseases, and cancers that may be promising targets for vaccine research and development.
This volume provides an analytic framework and quantitative model for evaluating disease conditions that can be applied by those setting priorities for vaccine development over the coming decades. The committee describes an approach for comparing potential new vaccines based on their impact on morbidity and mortality and on the costs of both health care and vaccine development. The book examines:
Lessons to be learned from the polio experience.
Scientific advances that set the stage for new vaccines.
Factors that affect how vaccines are used in the population.
Value judgments and ethical questions raised by comparison of health needs and benefits.
The committee provides a way to compare different forms of illness and set vaccine priorities without assigning a monetary value to lives. Their recommendations will be important to anyone involved in science policy and public health planning: policymakers, regulators, health care providers, vaccine manufacturers, and researchers.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Immunization becomes a highly controversial issue due to the reported evidence of ASD developing in children who have been vaccinated. Though the evidence is rather vague and scientists still cannot define which component of routine vaccines may cause such a reaction, parents are already scared to inject their healthy children with a portion of repressed germs and preservatives. Indeed, a vaccine like any other medicine, has its side effects, counterindications, and cannot be inserted to allergic kids. But immunizing a child is the safest way to create an immunity to dangerous but preventable diseases. Which is more important, immunization is the only way to create “herd immunity” that protects children who are allergic to vaccines or too young to inject them.
In the 21st century, vaccines are one of the greatest public-health achievements. They are available in many countries as governments insist on children being vaccinated timely. But the efforts of pediatricians are not always appreciated. More and more parents refuse from recommended vaccines to keep their children safe. But ignoring immunization has its cost. Recent outbreaks of measles, mumps, and whooping cough caused complications in some children despite these diseases were almost unheard of.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention together with the American Academy of Pediatrics advise that children get 14 vaccines by 2 years of life. The figure certainly looks threatening to parents, and they still have a chance to decide whether vaccinate their kids or not. It is important to remember that the breakdown of “hurdle immunity” will expose the most vulnerable kids and adults to disease. After all, a perfectly healthy child may any time catch a virus that will give them a hard time.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Vaccinations in the 21st Century
To the world vaccinations are a wonderful thing, but are they really, great for us? Vaccinations have changed from when they first came about in the 1760’s, to now in the 21st century. Vaccinations are the administration of antigenic material to stimulate an individual’s immune system to develop adaptive immunity to a pathogen. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate, which is to improve, morbidity from infection. Vaccinations are the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases. But, do we ever stop and ask ourselves, what do vaccines really do for us? Do they protect us? What is in a vaccination? What are the side-effects? Can it cause life threatening diseases or issues for us? It has been known that vaccinations have massive side effects caused by the ingredients, have a connection with autism, and a connection with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS. Robert F. Kennedy, who is a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, states that according to the EPA guidelines, you would have to be 275 pounds to safely absorb the amount of poison in the Hepatitis B shot. (More Natural Cures Revealed). This vaccine is given to all babies the day they are born.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Vaccination has greatly reduced the burden of infectious diseases. Only clean water, also considered to be a basic human right, performs better.1 Paradoxically, a vociferous antivaccine lobby thrives today in spite of the undeniable success of vaccination programmes against formerly fearsome diseases that are now rare in developed countries.2
Understandably, vaccine safety gets more public attention than vaccination effectiveness, but independent experts and WHO have shown that vaccines are far safer than therapeutic medicines.2,3 Modern research has spurred the development of less reactogenic products, such as acellular pertussis vaccines and rabies vaccines produced in cell culture. Today, vaccines have an excellent safety record and most “vaccine scares” have been shown to be false alarms.4,5 Misguided safety concerns in some countries have led to a fall in vaccination coverage, causing the re-emergence of pertussis and measles.6
Putative vaccine safety issues are commonly reported while reviews of vaccine benefits are few. A Medline search over the past five years using the keywords “vaccine risks” scored approximately five times as many hits (2655 versus 557) as a Medline search using “vaccine benefits” as keywords.7 This reflects the fact that negative aspects of vaccination get much more publicity than positive aspects.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
How one addresses the antivaccine movement has been a problem since the time of Jenner. The best way in the long term is to refute wrong allegations at the earliest opportunity by providing scientifically valid data. This is easier said than done, because the adversary in this game plays according to rules that are not generally those of science. This issue will not be further addressed in this paper, which aims to show how vaccines are valuable to both individuals and societies, to present validated facts, and to help redress adverse perceptions. Without doubt, vaccines are among the most efficient tools for promoting individual and public health and deserve better press.8
Disease control benefits
Unless an environmental reservoir exists, an eradicated pathogen cannot re-emerge, unless accidentally or malevolently reintroduced by humans, allowing vaccination or other preventive measures to be discontinued.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
While eradication may be an ideal goal for an immunization programme, to date only smallpox has been eradicated, allowing discontinuation of routine smallpox immunization globally. Potentially, other infectious diseases with no extrahuman reservoir can be eradicated provided an effective vaccine and specific diagnostic tests are available. Eradication requires high levels of population immunity in all regions of the world over a prolonged period with adequate surveillance in place.9 The next disease targeted for eradication is polio, which is still a global challenge.10 Although high coverage with oral polio vaccine (OPV) has eliminated type 2 poliovirus globally, transmission of types 1 and 3 continues in limited areas in a few countries. OPV-caused paralytic disease, directly or by reversion to virulence, and persistent vaccine-virus excretion in immunodeficient individuals are problems yet to be solved. Global use of monovalent type 1 and type 3 OPV and inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) may eventually be required.10
Diseases can be eliminated locally without global eradication of the causative microorganism. In four of six WHO regions, substantial progress has been made in measles elimination; transmission no longer occurs indigenously and importation does not result in sustained spread of the virus.11 Key to this achievement is more than 95% population immunity through a two-dose vaccination regimen. Combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine could also eliminate and eventually eradicate rubella and mumps.11 Increasing measles immunization levels in Africa, where coverage averaged only 67% in 2004, is essential for eradication of this disease. Already, elimination of measles from the Americas, and of measles, mumps and rubella in Finland has been achieved, providing proof in principle of the feasibility of their ultimate global eradication.12 It may also be possible to eliminate Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease through well implemented national programmes, as experience in the West has shown.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Local elimination does not remove the danger of reintroduction, such as in Botswana, polio-free since 1991, with importation of type 1 poliovirus from Nigeria in 2004,14 and in the United States of America (USA) with measles reintroduced to Indiana in 2005 by a traveller from Romania.15
For diseases with an environmental reservoir such as tetanus, or animal reservoirs such as Japanese encephalitis and rabies, eradication may not be possible, but global disease elimination is a feasible objective if vaccination of humans (and animals for rabies) is maintained at high levels.
Control of mortality, morbidity and complications
For the individual
Efficacious vaccines protect individuals if administered before exposure. Pre-exposure vaccination of infants with several antigens is the cornerstone of successful immunization programmes against a cluster of childhood diseases. Vaccine efficacy against invasive Hib disease of more than 90% was demonstrated in European, Native American, Chilean and African children in large clinical studies in the 1990s.13 In the United Kingdom, no infant given three doses developed Hib disease in the short-term (boosters may be required for long-term protection), and recent postmarketing studies have confirmed the high effectiveness of vaccination of infants against Hib in Germany and pertussis in Sweden Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Many vaccines can also protect when administered after exposure – examples are rabies, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, measles and varicella.18
Ehreth estimates that vaccines annually prevent almost 6 million deaths worldwide.19 In the USA, there has been a 99% decrease in incidence for the nine diseases for which vaccines have been recommended for decades,20 accompanied by a similar decline in mortality and disease sequelae.
Complications such as congenital rubella syndrome, liver cirrhosis and cancer caused by chronic hepatitis B infection or neurological lesions secondary to measles or mumps can have a greater long-term impact than the acute disease. Up to 40% of children who survive meningitis due to Hib may have life-long neurological defects.13
In field trials, mortality and morbidity reductions were seen for pneumococcal disease in sub-Saharan Africa and rotavirus in Latin America.21,22
Specific vaccines have also been used to protect those in greatest need of protection against infectious diseases, such as pregnant women, cancer patients and the immunocompromised.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Mitigation of disease severity
Disease may occur in previously vaccinated individuals. Such breakthroughs are either primary – due to vaccine failure – or secondary. In such cases, the disease is usually milder than in the non-vaccinated. In a German efficacy study of an acellular pertussis vaccine, vaccinated individuals who developed whooping cough had a significantly shorter duration of chronic cough than controls.23 Such findings were confirmed in Senegal.24 Varicella breakthroughs exhibit little fever, fewer skin lesions and fewer complications25 than unvaccinated cases. Milder disease in vaccinees was also reported for rotavirus vaccine.22
Prevention of infection
Many vaccines are primarily intended to prevent disease and do not necessarily protect against infection. Some vaccines protect against infection as well. Hepatitis A vaccine has been shown to be equally efficacious (over 90% protection) against symptomatic disease and asymptomatic infections.26 Complete prevention of persistent vaccine-type infection has been demonstrated for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.27 Such protection is referred to as “sterilizing immunity”. Sterilizing immunity may wane in the long term, but protection against disease usually persists because immune memory minimizes the consequences of infection.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Protection of the unvaccinated population
Efficacious vaccines not only protect the immunized, but can also reduce disease among unimmunized individuals in the community through “indirect effects” or “herd protection”. Hib vaccine coverage of less than 70% in the Gambia was sufficient to eliminate Hib disease, with similar findings seen in Navajo populations.29,30 Another example of herd protection is a measles outbreak among preschool-age children in the USA in which the attack rate decreased faster than coverage increased.31 Herd protection may also be conferred by vaccines against diarrhoeal diseases, as has been demonstrated for oral cholera vaccines.32
“Herd protection” of the unvaccinated occurs when a sufficient proportion of the group is immune.33 The decline of disease incidence is greater than the proportion of individuals immunized because vaccination reduces the spread of an infectious agent by reducing the amount and/or duration of pathogen shedding by vaccinees,34 retarding transmission. Herd protection as observed with OPV involves the additional mechanism of “contact immunization” – vaccine viruses infect more individuals than those administered vaccine.10
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The coverage rate necessary to stop transmission depends on the basic reproduction number (R0), defined as the average number of transmissions expected from a single primary case introduced into a totally susceptible population.34 Diseases with high R0 (e.g. measles) require higher coverage to attain herd protection than a disease with a lower R0 (e.g. rubella, polio and Hib).Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Because of herd protection, some diseases can be eliminated without 100% immunization coverage.
Source drying is a related concept to herd protection. If a particular subgroup is identified as the reservoir of infection, targeted vaccination will decrease disease in the whole population.
In North Queensland, Australia, there was a high incidence of hepatitis A in the indigenous population. Vaccination of indigenous toddlers, with catch-up up to the sixth birthday, had a rapid and dramatic impact in eliminating the disease in the indigenous population and in the much larger non-indigenous population (who were not vaccinated) across the whole of Queensland.35 Similar approaches have been very successfully applied in several other larger settings, including Israel and the USA.36
The success of source drying justifies vaccination of special occupational groups, such as food handlers, to control typhoid and hepatitis A.37
Pertussis vaccine boosters for close contacts (such as parents, grandparents, nannies, siblings and baby unit nurses), who are the most common sources of transmission to infants, protect those too young to be given primary vaccination with a surrounding “pertussis-free cocoon”.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Prevention of related diseases and cancer
Protection against related diseases
Vaccines will also protect against diseases related to the targeted disease. For example, in Finland, the USA and elsewhere, influenza vaccination has been found protective for acute otitis media in children, with a vaccine efficacy of more than 30%.39 Measles vaccination protects against multiple complications such as dysentery, bacterial pneumonia, keratomalacia and malnutrition.40 An enterotoxic Escherichia coli vaccine demonstrated protection against diarrhoea due to Salmonella enterica.41
Infective agents cause several cancers. Chronic hepatitis B infection leads to liver cancer. Vaccination against such pathogens should prevent the associated cancer as already observed for hepatocellular carcinoma in Taiwan, China.42 These results could be replicated in Africa.43
Reduction of the incidence of cervical cancer is expected with the use of HPV vaccines against serotypes 16 and 18, responsible for over 70% of the global cervical cancer burden, as reduction in precancerous lesions has been demonstrated in vaccinees.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Societal and other benefits
Health-care and other savings for society
Immunization programmes require funding for infrastructure (e.g. cold-chain maintenance), purchase of vaccines and adequate staffing. However, the mortality and morbidity prevented translates into long-term cost savings and potential economic growth. Globally, the savings from vaccines were estimated by Ehreth in 2003 to be of the order of tens of billions of US dollars of direct savings.19 Malaria (for which there are currently several promising vaccines in development) costs sub-Saharan Africa US$ 100 billion worth of lost annual gross domestic product (GDP).
Savings are enhanced if several antigens are delivered in a single vaccine. Combination vaccines bring the added benefit of better compliance, coverage, and injection safety. Introduction of a new antigen is facilitated with combination vaccines, ensuring early high coverage by maintaining previous immunization schedules, without compromising (and sometimes improving) immunogenicity and reactogenicity.44,45
When taking into account indirect costs, savings are higher for common diseases with lower mortality and morbidity (such as varicella) than for more severe diseases (such as polio).46 Indirect costs, such as lost productivity (as well as direct medical costs) have been emphasized by eminent health economists in assessing the full value of vaccination.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Immunization programmes, compared to other common public health interventions such as wearing seat-belts and chlorination of drinking water, are a good investment and more cost effective than, for example, advice on smoking cessation.48
Cost savings will be achieved with the new live-attenuated rotavirus and conjugated pneumococcal vaccines, as well as wider use of hepatitis B and Hib vaccines.49
Preventing development of antibiotic resistance
By reducing the need for antibiotics, vaccines may reduce the prevalence and hinder the development of resistant strains. Introduction of a conjugate pneumococcal vaccine for infants in the USA in 2000 saw a 57% decline in invasive disease caused by penicillin-resistant strains and a 59% decline in strains resistant to multiple antibiotics by 2004 across a broad age spectrum: 81% among children under 2 years of age and 49% among persons aged 65 years and older.50
Vaccines against typhoid can prevent primary infection and the spread of antibiotic-sensitive as well as multidrug-resistant strains.51 The development of new vaccines against infectious pathogens where antibiotic resistance is a global threat (e.g. Staphylococcus aureus) is viewed as a better long-term option to control the problem of increasing resistance.52
Extending life expectancy
Vaccines can increase life expectancy by protecting against diseases against which one would not expect benefit. Elderly individuals given influenza vaccine in the USA had approximately 20% less chance of suffering cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and 50% lower risk of mortality from all causes compared to their unvaccinated counterparts.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
In Sweden, administration of polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine and inactivated influenza vaccine significantly reduced the risk of in-hospital mortality for pneumonia and cardiac failure among elderly persons, with an additive effect when both vaccines had been administered.54
Safe travel and mobility
With global air travel rising, there is an increased risk of exposure to infectious diseases abroad. Travellers transmit and disseminate disease, as has been observed in the case of polio and in the dispersal of meningococcal strains by returning pilgrims from Saudi Arabia.55 In the case of the Muslim Hajj (the largest annual human gathering in the world), local authorities require meningococcal ACWY vaccination and recommend various other vaccinations, such as influenza and hepatitis B, for pilgrims.56
The most common vaccine-preventable diseases among travellers are influenza and hepatitis A.57 Other vaccines to consider for travel include rabies, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and measles.57 Many vaccines can be given by flexible accelerated schedules to ensure early protection.58 Thus the traveller seeking health advice, even within a few weeks of departure, can travel overseas without vaccine-preventable health risks to themselves and others.
Other public health benefits
In developing countries, vaccination programmes are cornerstones of primary health-care services. The infrastructure and personnel required for an effective and sustainable immunization programme give opportunities for better primary health-care services, particularly in the critical perinatal and early infancy period.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Empowerment of women
With improvements in infant and child mortality, women tend to opt for fewer children as the need to have many children to ensure that some will reach adulthood is reduced. This has significant health, educational, social and economic benefits.59
Protection against bioterrorism
The current concern about the potential use of smallpox virus in bioterror is due to the cessation of vaccination (and of vaccine manufacture) following the monumental achievement of smallpox eradication. The potential of vaccines to protect populations from bioterrorism threats such as smallpox and anthrax has led many governments to ensure an adequate supply of the necessary vaccines in preparation against such an attack.62 Surveillance and response systems for vaccine-preventable and other diseases play a critical role in identification, characterization and response to biological weapons.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
Promoting economic growth
Poor health has been shown to stunt economic growth while good health can promote social development and economic growth. Health is fundamental to economic growth for developing countries and vaccinations form the bedrock of their public health programmes.47,59,60 The annual return on investment in vaccination has been calculated to be in the range of 12% to 18%, but the economic benefits of improved health continue to be largely underestimated.47,63,64
The burden of infectious, including vaccine-preventable, diseases falls disproportionately on the disadvantaged. Vaccines have clear benefits for the disadvantaged. Pneumococcal immunization programmes in the USA have at least temporarily removed racial and socioeconomic disparities in invasive pneumococcal disease incidence, while in Bangladesh, measles vaccination has enhanced equity between high- and low-socioeconomic groups Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
There were at least seven United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) vaccine-mediated ceasefires during civil conflicts.67 These conflicts were in diverse parts of the world, from Liberia to Afghanistan, where even warring factions see the benefit of immunization programmes.
During protracted conflict it is possible to ensure that vaccination coverage remains high. This is seen in Sri Lanka, where despite unrest for the last two decades coverage in 2005 for both three doses of diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis vaccine and one dose of measles vaccine was 99%.68
The high cost-effectiveness and multiple benefits of relatively modest resource investments in immunization contrast starkly with profligate global military expenditures, currently over US$ 1 trillion annually.69
The benefits of vaccination extend beyond prevention of specific diseases in individuals. They enable a rich, multifaceted harvest for societies and nations. Vaccination makes good economic sense, and meets the need to care for the weakest members of societies. Reducing global child mortality by facilitating universal access to safe vaccines of proven efficacy is a moral obligation for the international community as it is a human right for every individual to have the opportunity to live a healthier and fuller life. Achievement of the Millennium Development Goal 4 (two-thirds reduction in 1990 under-5 child mortality by 2015) will be greatly advanced by, and unlikely to be achieved without, expanded and timely global access to key life-saving immunizations such as measles, Hib, rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines.Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
We conclude that a comprehensive vaccination programme is a cornerstone of good public health and will reduce inequities and poverty Vaccination In The 21st Century Essay
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