Using the theme ‘Vaccines bring us closer’, World Immunization Week 2021 will urge greater engagement around immunization globally to promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together, and improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life.
World Immunisation Week – the worldwide campaign to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. It is celebrated every year in the last week of April – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. Yet, there are still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the vaccines they need, and many miss out on vital vaccines during adolescence, adulthood and into old age.
Immunisation is very safe and effective. It stops the spread of highly infectious and life-threatening infections such as chicken pox, hepatitis, influenza, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tetanus, and whooping cough. The benefits of immunisation far outweigh the risks of serious side effects.
Health authorities recognise immunisation as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Immunisation can offer protection from infections both on a global and community level. Even those who are too young to be immunised or those who cannot be immunised due to medical reasons can be protected by immunisation. They are protected when the people around them are immunised, because the infection can’t spread. This is called herd immunity. Herd immunity works most efficiently if a sufficient number of people (about 90% for most infections) are immunised. So through immunisation, you are not just protecting yourself against disease but also the entire population.
Immunisation strengthens the body’s immune system. A way of becoming immune to an infection is to receive a vaccine. Vaccines are dead or weakened versions of infection-causing germs (bacteria or viruses), parts of bacteria or weakened bacterial toxins. When you receive a vaccine, usually via an injection, your body produces antibodies that will help you fight an infection caused by that bacteria or virus.
Immunity against many infections can last a long time, sometimes up to 30 years. However, some vaccines, such as influenza (known as the flu) are needed every year. This is because influenza viruses are constantly changing and a new vaccine is developed each year to give protection against the new variety of influenza. Get a yearly influenza vaccine to remain protected.
If you want to know more about immunisation, talk with your local pharmacist. Lockyer Valley Pharmacy can administer influenza and the whooping cough vaccination in store.