- In 1749 the scientist Edward Jenner laid the foundations for the development of current vaccines.
- Vaccines help prevent two to three million deaths each year.
- Some diseases such as smallpox, polio, whooping cough, diphtheria and mumps have reached historical minimum figures today.
Innovations are developed every day that have an impact on the lives of millions of people. Within the list of contemporary inventions there is one in particular that has been of great help in avoiding millions of deaths and that is immunization. Its importance has become more apparent during the current Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, there are several diseases that are about to be eradicated thanks to vaccines.
What does it consist of?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Vaccination is a simple, safe and effective way to protect ourselves against harmful diseases before coming into contact with them. Vaccines activate the body’s natural defenses so that they learn to resist specific infections, and strengthen the immune system.
After a person you receive an inoculation your immune system produces antibodies. It is the same process that occurs when someone is exposed to a disease, except that vaccines contain only dead or weakened microbes (such as viruses or bacteria) and do not cause disease or complications.
Most vaccines are injected, but others are ingested (orally) or sprayed into the nose.
The man who invented vaccines
One name that everyone should remember is that of scientist Edward Jenner. It was in 1749 that he laid the foundation for the development of today’s vaccines. For the same reason, he is considered the father of immunization.
Over the years his invention has become more relevant. Only at present it is estimated that Immunizations prevent two to three million deaths each year. Although the WHO estimates that if global coverage is improved then another 1.5 million fatal cases could be prevented.
Now, in recent years several diseases have been eradicated or are about to be eradicated thanks to vaccines. In the United States alone, no cases of smallpox or polio were reported in 2020. With this, it is one of the greatest advances achieved in the nation because the annual average during the 20th century was 29,005 and 16,316 cases, respectively.
A similar scenario occurs with the pertussis, diphtheria and mumps because they are diseases that have reached historical minimum numbers throughout the world.
On the other hand, although measles cases stabilized for years, since 2020 there has been a slight increase. In part it has been because vaccination campaigns were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. That is why it is necessary to return to the path to prevent a setback from occurring.