A Brief History of Vaccination: Understanding Its Impact on Lives

Immunization through vaccination is one of the most significant medical breakthroughs in our history. No longer do we have to be constantly wary or fearful of contact with other people.

The microbes that cause illnesses like polio, hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, measles, mumps, and flu can easily be transferred from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, or simply shaking hands. Even just being in the same room as an infected person can raise your chances of catching the virus or bacteria, too.

But with vaccines, humanity has effectively decreased the chances of more people becoming sick. So, how do vaccines work?

Immune response

Vaccines work by exposing the body to the disease-causing microbe, triggering an immune response. This immune response involves the production of antibodies against the organism.

Vaccines are generally made up of a number of medical ingredients. One is penicillin, which works by stopping bacteria from forming protective layers, leaving them open for the antibodies to attack.

It is also worth mentioning here that after the discovery of penicillin, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) became less prevalent. Nowadays, such diseases can also be easily assessed and treated with the use of modern technology. An example would be the rise of online herpes treatment centers around the world.

Herd immunity

Inoculations started as early as the 1500s when the Chinese first made their own medicine to fight smallpox. Years later, more and more people started to see the benefits of vaccines as humanity then struggled to fight other threats, such as the whooping cough, yellow fever, and measles.

Today, vaccines are more accessible and in some areas, have become a requirement for the people. This is where herd immunity comes into play.

Herd immunity is where a large number of people are vaccinated, preventing the spread of infectious diseases. So, even if one has reservations about getting vaccinated, he or she will be protected. Being in a place where the majority of the population is already immune, that person will also get to live a healthy life.

But it is also worth noting that humans are not the only ones who can receive vaccines.

Animal vaccination

cat getting a vaccine

Animals also get vaccinated. For example, immunization for pets like dogs and cats can start as early as they are a month old. Vaccines help them combat life-threatening diseases, such as distemper, parvovirus, heartworm, and rabies.

While such illnesses are unique to certain species, that does not mean that variations cannot be passed on to humans. Immunizations for animals are also not limited to pets. Vaccines are also given to other animals, such as livestock and endangered species.

So, if you are having reservations about getting vaccinated yourself, then you might want to think again. A quick chat with your local doctor may also help straighten things out.

Vaccines do play an important role in society. It is with vaccines that a large number of the world’s population today is healthy. It is with vaccines that older and deadly diseases are now less prevalent or have been eradicated entirely.

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