Thanks to advancements in medicine, immunisation is able to protect us from many once life-threatening diseases such as tuberculosis, polio and pneumococcal disease. If you are still not convinced, the following facts offer more evidence of why you should immunise.
1) Immunisation has saved millions of lives.
Without immunisation, 2 to 3 million more children and adults would die every year from meningitis, diphtheria, measles and many other vaccine-preventable diseases.
2) Immunisation has rid the world of smallpox and made Malaysia polio-free.
Smallpox is an untreatable disease that once killed 1 in every 3 infected people, and scarred or blinded its survivors. Polio is a frightening disease that paralysed and/or killed millions of children around the world.
3) Immunisation has ensured healthier lives.
With new vaccines, we are now able to protect ourselves against previously unpreventable disease like tetanus, whooping cough, diphtheria, pneumococcal disease, and many more.
4) Immunisation protects us from cancers.
There are vaccines available that can prevent cancers. For example, the human papillomavirus vaccine and the hepatitis B vaccine protect against cervical cancer and liver cancer, respectively.
5) Immunisation is the only defence against certain diseases.
Diseases such as chronic hepatitis B and polio remain incurable despite medical advances.
6) Immunisation protects us from the unseen.
Vaccine-preventable diseases are not completely gone. Malaysia may be polio-free, but polio still devastates communities in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. In this day and age, when we can travel across the world in a day, it is not uncommon for diseases to do the same.
7) Immunisation cannot be replaced by clean water and better hygiene.
Diseases like chickenpox spread from person to person despite clean water and better hygiene. Only vaccines are able to stop such diseases.
8) Immunisation can protect entire communities.
When enough of us are vaccinated against a disease, there will be too few left to carry and spread it to others. Immunisation doesn’t just protect us as individuals. It protects our entire family, community and country, too! This is called herd immunity.