If only every person's immune system was built with sturdy barriers to head off deadly diseases, vaccines would have never been developed. However, poor eating habits and lifestyle choices gradually weaken its defenses and make it accessible to diseases. By establishing World Immunization Week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) hopes to assist everybody in fortifying the walls of their immune system so that they can live their life to the fullest.
From the 24th to 30th of April, everyone in government organisations, private companies, educational institutions and the healthcare sector, will participate in seminars and workshops that focus on the benefits of routine vaccinations for children and adults. Local communities are also organising events to drive public interest and inspire every individual to take action for the sake of their health and loved ones.
What is Immunization?
Immunization is the process of increasing a person's resistance against disease through vaccination. In the vaccination process, a vaccine is introduced into a person's body to support their immune system and reduce their chances of getting infected by a disease even when they are exposed to it.
Vaccines are usually administered through injection, but there are some that can be given orally or sprayed into the nose.
How Do Vaccines Work?
A vaccine has an antigen that triggers the body's immune system to identify and combat pathogens that threaten to harm it. Antigens contain a small part of the pathogen, or the virus, which when injected into the body generates an immune response.
Some vaccines, such as those made for COVID-19, utilise the genetic code that the cells of the pathogen use to create protein, to prompt an immune response in the body.
What Diseases Can Immunization Prevent?
According to the WHO, immunization is the most cost-effective way of fighting diseases and preserving lives. Their report from last year shows that it currently prevents an estimated two to three million deaths every year. Getting routine vaccinations can stave off a list of serious but preventable diseases, including:
- Hepatitis A & B
- Chicken pox
- Pneumococcal diseases
- Meningitis A
- Diarrhoeal disease
- Yellow Fever
- Human papillomavirus
How Does One Know Which Vaccines They Need?
Just like with taking medications or natural therapies, you must consult your primary healthcare provider to know which vaccines your body needs and when to get these. Moreover, seeking professional guidance will provide you with vital information about the contraindications of a specific type of vaccine.
What can be more important than health? To preserve yours and that of your loved ones, it pays to participate in World Immunization Week and understand the benefits, as well as side effects, of vaccination down to the tiniest detail.