Immunisation describes the process whereby people are protected against illness caused by infection with micro-organisms (formally called pathogens). The term vaccine refers to the material use for immunization.

A vaccine usually contains an agent resembling disease-causing bacteria. When this biological preparation is injected into your body, your immune system recognizes the agent and destroys it.

However, your immune system remembers the agent and next time, when the actual microbe attacks you, it safeguards you against the disease. Vaccines are usually made from the toxins of the killed or weakened microorganism.

Importance of Vaccination :

Getting, immunized costs less than getting treated for the diseases as the vaccines protect you from getting infected and builds resistance towards the germ.

Vaccination not only protects you but indirectly also protects the community.

Some Facts on Immunization :

  • Immunization saves 3 million lives every year
  • More than 1 million infants and young children all over the world die every year from rotavirus , diarrhoea and pneumococcal disease. Both of these diseases can be prevented through vaccination
  • The global measles mortality rate has reduced by 74%. This has been possible due to intense campaigns for vaccination worldwide.
  • Flu vaccine has led to a 70% decline in hospitalizations.
  • Hepatitis B vaccines have caused a drop in the incidence of liver cancer
  • By 2020, all the countries are aiming to increase vaccination coverage by 90% nationally.
  • Vaccination is very safe and effective.
  • Vaccination is a major step towards the prevention of infectious disease in children and adults.

Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

  1. Vaccination protects children from serious illness and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases which can include amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage , and death.
  2. Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough , are still a threat.
  3. If children aren’t vaccinated, they can spread the disease to other children who are too young to be vaccinated or to people with weakened immune systems, such as transplant recipients and people with cancer.
  4. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals.
  5. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.
  6. If exposure to a disease occurs in a community, there is little to no risk of an epidemic if people have been immunized.

Adult Immunization

  • Vaccinations aren’t just for children.
  • Adults need them too at times, depending on factors such as age, health conditions, travel plans and personal vaccination record.
  • Adults can be vaccinated for a range of diseases such as swine flu, typhoid , hepatitis, tetanus andpneumonia. Vaccines such as hepatitis A and B, pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis , rabies , human papillomavirus vaccine and tetanus are the most common vaccinations given in India.

Travel Immunizations

It is important to take vaccines as precautions while travelling to certain countries. For example, yellow fever vaccination is needed by Indians travelling to African countries. We don’t have yellow fever in India yet – but the country has all the favourable parameters for it to thrive quite well. So if someone from India travels to Africa, contracts the disease and returns to India, they can spread the disease.

Similarly, vaccinations against tuberculosis, typhoid and meningococcal meningitis are required if you travel to the US or European countries.

To know more about vaccines for adults and children please, visit Wockhardt Hospital .