Memo: The Benefits of Vaccination
Every person needs and has a right for protection from diseases by means of specific prophylactic measures. The use of vaccine preparations has reduced and, in some cases, completely eliminated spreading of a number of illnesses, thus leading to the reduction in a number of complications for tens of thousands of children and adults. Hence, vaccination is one of the most important measures taken to preserve and strengthen the health (Harmsen et al., 2013). Usage of vaccines is especially useful, and sometimes, it is the only measure for preventing the development of hard treated and dangerous conditions that have significant impact on humans’ health.
Prior to the invention of vaccinations, the infections and viruses were the main cause of high mortality among the population on the Earth and short life expectancy. However, for more than 200 years, there is an effective way to protect humans and animals from a number of infectious and some viral diseases. English doctor Edward Jenner gave the first vaccine against smallpox at the beginning of the 19th century (Gaudino & Robison, 2012). Since then, vaccination (immunization) has become the most effective way to prevent dangerous diseases.
Human body is protected against pathogens of infectious diseases by the immune system. It is able to confront the microorganisms constantly surrounding human beings (E. coli, streptococci, as well as other bacteria and viruses), but it is not always able to cope with the causative agents of diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, and other infectious conditions (Campbel, 2017). To support the capacity of the body to withstand the attacks on immune system by viruses and bacteria, immunization or vaccination is sued. Immunization is creating an artificial immunity against a disease. Passive immunization is carried out by injection of immune serum containing anti-bodies. Active immunization is a vaccination of dead or weakened microorganisms. Only vaccinations can protect a child, and, hence, an adult from such diseases as polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, tuberculosis, tetanus, viral hepatitis B, measles, epidemic parotitis, rubella, and flu (Gaudino & Robison, 2012). In most cases, the vaccine intake is literally saving one’s life.
It is important to note that vaccinations received in childhood, in most cases, form the basis of immunity against individual infections for life. Therefore, the conduct of vaccinations in childhood as well as a proper vaccination plan are vital (Saada, Lieu, Morain, Zikmund-Fisher, & Wittenberg, 2015). The introduction of the vaccine is the production of immunity to its components; as a result, the antibodies are formed in the body. The latter are strictly individual for each pathogen, and when meeting with a virus, they quickly suppress it and do not allow the disease to develop. However, no vaccine can give a 100% guarantee that a person does not get sick (Campbell et al., 2017). Although vaccinated children rarely get sick, in the meantime, most vaccines require supportive vaccinations at regular intervals, as over time, the immunity weakens, and protection becomes insufficient. For example, anti-diphtheria and anti-tetanus vaccinations are repeated after 5-10 years to sixty years of age (Saada et al., 2015). Despite vaccine is not a solid guarantee that an individual would not suffer from this or that disease, the danger of getting infected is still significantly lower after it.
Often, parents are afraid to vaccinate children suffering from chronic diseases; however, the risk of infection is many times greater than the potential consequences of vaccination. For example, a child with a cardiac disease might suffer much worse whooping cough than a healthy one. Nowadays, more and more parents refuse to vaccinate their children (Harmsen et al., 2012). On the one hand, they are afraid that while avoiding vaccination, they put a child’s health in danger in the future. On the other hand, parents are afraid that a child would develop a severe reaction to the vaccine. However, there is a number of reasons capable of relieving the vaccination fear. Firstly, in the world, there are special high-quality systems for assessing the safety of vaccines for public health. Before a vaccine is released for public use, it undergoes a multi-step test, which includes conducting various experiments, examinations, and clinical trials that assess the safety (Saada et al., 2015). Secondly, side reactions are a common response of the body to the introduction of a foreign antigen, and in most cases, they reflect the process of developing immunity. For example, the cause of the increase in body temperature that has arisen after vaccination is the release of special immune response “mediators” into the blood. If the adverse reactions are mild, then in general, it is even a favorable sign in terms of the development of the immunity (Gullion, Henry, & Gullion, 2008). As a rule, such a reaction is of short duration (1-3 days). When the temperature rises to 38 degrees, no treatment is required (Campbell, 2017). If the temperature rises above 38 degrees, it is necessary to use antipyretic drugs being appointed by pediatrician in accordance with the age of a child. In the case of redness or compaction on the site of the vaccine, it is necessary to notify the health worker who carried out the procedure. For children who have had a post-vaccination reaction, preparatory measures are recommended, which the physicians should prescribe before the next vaccination (Saada et al., 2015). It may help weaken the post-vaccination reaction or avoid it completely. It is important to remember that an individual approach is applied to each person. Before any vaccination, a physician examines a patient and decides on the possibility of vaccine implementation. Vaccinations are prescribed according to the vaccination schedule. However, some people, for example, premature or with certain abnormalities in health status, may have medical contraindications to this vaccine (Harmsen et al., 2013). Vaccinations are not carried out in the period of acute or exacerbation of a chronic disease; they are postponed until recovery or remission (Saada et al., 2015). However, if the risk of infection is high (for example, after contact with a patient), then some vaccines can be administered against the background of minor symptoms of an acute or chronic disease. Responsibility for the administration of the vaccine and its consequences, in this case, is on the side of a physician who prescribed the vaccine.
It is important to add that the holding of several vaccines on the same day is not dangerous if these vaccines are combined with each other, and their purpose coincides with the vaccination schedule. In this case, vaccines must be administered in different parts of the body (Gaudino & Robinson, 2012). Before vaccination, a person must be protected from contact with sick patients (Harmsen, 2013). Having food allergies is strong predictor of having negative vaccination results. Thus, strict following of a diet and not introducing new products into the diet are strongly recommended. The same tactics should be followed within 5-7 days after vaccination. On the day of the vaccination, walking on the street should be reduced, contacts with other people ought to be limited, and it is recommended not to bathe for 24 hours (Campbell, 2017). After vaccination, a person needs careful attention from the relatives and observation of the medical staff of the clinic in a timely manner. For example, to ensure medical supervision of a child in the event of an immediate reaction immediately after vaccination, parents should be near the vaccination room for 30 minutes (Campbell, 2017; Saada et al., 2015).
It is also important to note that public immunization is a useful measure to protect health on the community. When enough people are vaccinated, the transition of viruses from one carrier to another becomes difficult, and the distribution stops. As a result, diseases bypass those who are not vaccinated and those whom the vaccine has not produced the desired effect. Thus, vaccination is effective, especially if the vast majority of community members have passed it. Scientists have found that for the effective functioning of the vaccine, it is necessary that over 95% of the population ought to be vaccinated against the disease (Gullion et al., 2008). Due to vaccination, such a dangerous disease as smallpox is not registered in the world; cases of poliomyelitis that are resulting in disability and diphtheria, which can be fatal if not treated promptly, have become episodic in most countries having vaccination against these conditions. Consequently, vaccinating a child means an important step in disease prevention for the nation.
Every person has the right to make own choice on being vaccinated or not, but parents should know that by refusing vaccinations, they deprive their children of the right to health. In addition, if the institution is quarantined for some kind of infection, and one’s child is not immunized, they may not be accepted into the children’s team. It is important to emphasize that modern medicine does not yet have a more effective means of preventing infectious diseases than vaccination. Thus, refusing vaccinations, people not only deprive the protection of their children but also endanger other individuals and contribute to the spread of infectious diseases in society.
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