A brief history of vaccination

Editorial Board

Editorial Board

May 13th, 2020

Editorial Board

‘Thanks to advances in sanitation and healthcare, child mortality has fallen significantly in recent decades. ’

Vaccines have had a significant impact on children’s health over the course of history.

Take smallpox for example. In the 20th Century it killed between 300 million and 500 million people. An intensive global immunisation campaign launched in the 1960s led to the eradication of the disease in 1979.

The polio eradication programme has seen the number of cases reduced by 99% since 1988.

And it doesn’t end there. The US has eliminated diphtheria and rubella while Europe is committed to beating measles and rubella in the coming years.

In the 21st Century as the population ages, vaccines can help us to live longer, healthier lives. This is why it is important to keep good immunisation coverage rates as when they fall, diseases return and death rates rise.

Vaccines also help to reduce spending on healthcare and treatment. New vaccines against HIV, malaria, TB and SARS CoV2 are in the pipeline. So in the future we can expect more diseases to become vaccine-preventable.