Each August, National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) highlights the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. As we enter the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, immunization awareness could not be more impactful at this time.
Before vaccines, life expectancy was around 35 years old. Dr. Edward Jenner, the “Father of Immunology,” developed the smallpox vaccine in 1796. His theory speculated that protection lies with a related virus or cowpox. He tested this theory on an eight-year-old boy with the cowpox pustule from a milkmaid. This theory proved a vaccine is indeed a preventative inoculation used to stimulate your immune system to recognize and combat a disease you have not had been in contact with.
From there, French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur developed the earliest vaccines against anthrax, rabies, as well as pasteurization, and germ theory. This paved the way for more vaccines and modern medicine success stories.
Vaccines not only prevent sickness and death, eradicate disease, improve health and life expectancy, and lower healthcare costs, but they also have a global economic impact. Vaccines create health and financial equity. By investing in the health of the population, immunization creates stability, increased work performance, productivity, and future development.
Vaccinations are one of the best preventative investments you can make to protect yourself and others. Click here for the recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization schedules for all ages.
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