Vaccines Facts

Vaccines Facts
A vaccine is a biologically prepared substance administered to people to provide immunity to a disease. A vaccine usually contains an agent that is similar to the actual micro-organism that would cause the disease, which causes the body to build immunity to the disease. Vaccines can be administered as an oral vaccine, or injected by a needle. Since the first vaccines were developed, they have helped to fight and even eradicate (make disappear) many diseases that had fatal outcomes for many people in the past. Some vaccines have side effects but most are mild, such as pain or fever. Some reactions are severe, and can be caused by an allergy to one of the ingredients in the vaccine.
Interesting Vaccines Facts:
In the 10th century in China there were attempts to inoculate for smallpox. This form of inoculation involved inhaling smallpox scabs into the nostrils.
In the 1700s Edward Jenner discovered that cowpox could be administered to humans to create immunity against smallpox. This practice continued until 1840.
In the 1880s Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and chicken cholera. He was also responsible for discovering pasteurization.
Vaccines have been created to prevent a variety of diseases including diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella, smallpox, polio, whooping cough, chicken pox, shingles, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, pneumonia, meningococcal disease, tetanus, human papillomavirus, and influenza.
Vaccines are believed to prevent approximately 2.5 million deaths every year around the world.
When the majority of people in a community are vaccinated, this provides what is referred to as 'herd immunity' for those in the community not vaccinated. This means that they are less likely to get sick from the disease because the potential for the disease to exist and spread is lower.
Thanks to the polio vaccine the disease no longer occurs in the United States, but polio is very contagious and if it were brought to the United States by an infected person it could spread rapidly (so vaccinations are still important).
Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan still have cases of polio, but elsewhere is has been eradicated because of vaccines.
Smallpox was wiped out because of the vaccine. Vaccination for the disease is no longer required.
There are still a million young children dying each year from rotavirus and pneumococcal disease, which are preventable with vaccines.
There are several different types of vaccines including inactivated, attenuated, toxoid, subunit, conjugate, valence, heterotypic, and experimental.
Vaccines are used to help prevent disease among animals too. The rabies vaccine can help stop the spread of this deadly disease. Both people and animals can be vaccinated against rabies, which can spread from animal to human when a human is bitten by a sick animal. It is estimated that the rabies vaccine saves approximately 250,000 lives a year around the world.
Some vaccines must be given in repeated doses to help build immunity.
Some people believe that vaccinations can cause other illnesses such as autism, but it has not been proven yet.
Vaccines do not always work. Some people can be vaccinated for a disease and still get the disease, but they do work in most cases.

Related Links:
Health Facts
Animals Facts
Louis Pasteur Timeline
Industrial Revolution Timeline
Jonas Salk Facts
Pearl Kendrick Facts
Flu Facts
Scientific Discoveries: c. 1900 - Present
Edward Jenner Facts
Genetic Engineering Examples
Autism Facts
Ebola Virus Facts