April 24-30, 2016 is World Immunisation Week. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), immunization averts two to three million deaths annually – however, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improved.
According to reports, an estimated 18.7 million infants – nearly one in five children – worldwide are still missing out on routine immunizations for preventable diseases, such as diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. According to WHO, ‘vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease. Immunization is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases’.
Myths And Facts About Vaccines
We share some vaccine myths and facts, courtesy of health.com:
- Some vaccines contain mercury – Fact
- Vaccines cause autism – Myth
- Vaccines can have side effects – Fact
- You’re safe if everyone else is vaccinated – Myth
- Vaccines guarantee protection – Myth
- Too many shots weaken the immune system – Myth
- Vaccines are for kids only – Myth
- The HPV shot is for girls only – Myth
- Pregnant women can’t get vaccines – Myth
- Natural immunity is better – Fact
- Vaccines aren’t necessary because disease has been eradicated – Myth