December 1, 2020
According to the CDC, for Americans born between 1994 and 2013, it is estimated vaccines will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetime.
This is known as community immunity. When enough people are vaccinated against a certain disease, the infection cannot spread as easily from person to person. Therefore, even if a small portion of the population are not able to get vaccinated, perhaps they are too young, have serious allergic reactions or a weakened or failing immune system, they will still be protected.
There are some diseases, small pox and polio for example, that still affect others around the world even though we don’t see them here in the United States. Travelers who are unvaccinated could bring these diseases back into the United States, increasing the risk that they will spread.
Children who are not vaccinated face lifelong complications that could potentially put them at risk. There is no standard protocol for unvaccinated children, so staff may be unaware or untrained on how to treat these patients, which ultimately reduces the level of care they will receive. There are also social implications, such as exclusion from school or being subjected to quarantine if there was an outbreak of a disease.
Vaccinations are not just for protecting ourselves, and they are not just for today. They protect the people around us, and they also protect our children’s children by keeping nearly eradicated diseases from making a comeback.
It is our social responsibility to use the medical knowledge and treatment at our disposal not only for our protection but for the protection of everyone around us.
The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent that of AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation. The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any health condition and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health professional.