Every year, the last week of April aims to raise awareness for immunization. This year topic is “Vaccines Work”.
Vaccines work by acting as “fake” pathogens that carry diseases, prompting a response from the immune system. This way, the body will be ready to act faster if faced with the real disease pathogen in the future. By helping to prevent diseases in the first place, vaccines also limit the antibiotic resistance.
During this action week, the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to raise awareness for the importance of the use of vaccines and clarify some myths regarding them. The five key messages raised by the WHO are:
- Vaccines are safe and effective, because they undergo rigorous tests before being given to the population
- Vaccines prevent deadly diseases, like measles and mumps. Those who are not vaccinated are more vulnerable to such things
- Vaccines provide better immunity than natural infections, because there is less risk involved
- Combined vaccines are safe and beneficial and there is no risk associated with receiving multiple vaccines at the same time
- If we stop vaccination diseases will return. When less people get vaccinated, even previously eradicated diseases can return (as the recent outbreak of measles in some European countries).
Make sure you and your family are protected against diseases! If you are living in Portugal and away from your country healthcare system, we will help you finding the adequate healthcare you need. Contact us!
Sources: WHO, Historyofvaccines.org