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Ten Key Vaccine Facts

Below are ten key facts about vaccination which are key to bear in mind when talking about vaccination.
Scientist looks through a microscope at some cells.

Below are ten key facts about vaccination which are key to bear in mind when talking about vaccination.

Fact 1. Vaccination helps save lives.

Smallpox was one of the most devastating diseases known to humanity and caused millions of deaths before vaccination was invented. It is believed to have existed for at least 3000 years. Since 1980, thanks to vaccination, smallpox no longer exists.

Fact 2. Vaccination can protect others as well as you.

Some people have weaker immune systems, for example because of cancer treatment or HIV. They are more at risk of infection and serious disease should they become infected. By getting vaccinated, you can stop diseases spreading through the community to them and potentially save their lives.

Fact 3. Vaccinations can almost always be caught up if they were missed in childhood.

Vaccination schedules are important; children are often at risk of serious consequences from infectious diseases, so it’s important to gain immunity to these early through vaccination. However, it is almost never too late to receive vaccinations.

Fact 4. Vaccines provide us with a safe way to gain immunity to diseases.

Immunity to diseases can also be gained by getting infected, getting sick and recovering from the disease – however the risk of serious consequences is far higher from getting the disease than from getting vaccinated.

Fact 5. Vaccines are very important in pregnant people.

Getting vaccinated during pregnancy is important to stop certain diseases from infecting the foetus. Infections during pregnancy can result in lifelong complication for children when they are born. Pregnant people can also be at greater risk of getting severely ill from diseases such as COVID-19 or flu.

Fact 6. Vaccine schedules, on average, take up about 0.1% of a baby’s capacity to deal with pathogens.

On average, children can mount immune responses to about 10,000 different pathogen molecules; a normal childhood vaccine schedule involves exposure to about 126.

Fact 7. Vaccinations have been around for a long time.

The first vaccine was discovered in 1796. Since then vaccines have undergone revolutionary changes in their development and testing. Now, at least 25 diseases are preventable thanks to vaccines.

Fact 8. Vaccination is considered to be the most cost-effective life-saving intervention in recent history after clean water.

This means, after water, it is the intervention that has saved the most lives per £ / € / L spent on it.

Fact 9. Vaccines are mostly made up of water.

To learn more about what else is usually in a vaccine…

Fact 10. The safety and effectiveness of vaccines is rigorously assessed throughout the vaccine manufacturing process.

There are many steps which a vaccine must go through before it is approved for use.

This article is from the free online

Prison Health: Vaccinations for People Working and Living in Prisons (Vaccine Trained Staff)

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