Saving Lives: Vaccines and Global Health

March 1, 2017

by Katy Seib, IANPHI Assistant Director of Programs

Vaccines are a victim of their own success. When people see less disease, they don't see the value of vaccinating against them.

Dr. Daniel Levy-Bruhl, Medical Epidemiologist, French Public Health Agency

Vaccination accounts for the decline and elimination of many diseases around the world and thus the majority of the decline in childhood deaths over the past two decades. Smallpox was completely eradicated from the earth nearly 4 decades ago, and polio is on its way out, having been eliminated in all but three countries. Enormous declines in serious diseases like measles, Haemophilus influenzae type b, pertussis, pneumonia and rotavirus have been realized thanks to nearly worldwide implementation of these vaccines. These diseases used to be dreaded by parents everywhere who routinely saw and feared the disability and death they caused. Vaccines have brought the incidence of several diseases down to nearly zero in many countries and drastically reduced them in others, to the point where they are no longer as known or feared. In countries where the diseases still rage, parents vigorously seek preventive vaccines out for their children without hesitation or fear. 

Thanks to vaccines and immunization programs, paralysis from polio is now rare and on the verge of disappearing.

The life saving benefits vaccines provide are scientifically undisputed. Vaccine programs are enthusiastically supported by every major physician advisory board and public health organizations – both governmental and non-governmental. Many national public health institutes (NPHIs) are involved in various aspects of immunization programs, vaccine-preventable disease surveillance, vaccine recommendations and immunization delivery and believe that immunization programs have been and will continue to be the cornerstone of strong public health systems.

Additional Resources

CDC & Vaccines

Straight Talk about Vaccines- Scientific American

Check the source: WHO-validated websites provide trustworthy information on vaccine safety

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