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ERADICATION AND CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES THROUGH VACCINATION

Eradication and control of infectious diseases through vaccinations

Eradication and control of infectious diseases through vaccinations

ERADICATION AND CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES THROUGH VACCINATION

 

Vaccination is one of the most successful public health interventions in modern human history.[1] The development of vaccines has changed the course of infectious diseases and prevents 2-3 million deaths each year – that’s thousands of lives saved daily.[2]

 

How vaccination has helped to reduce or, in some cases, eradicate the spread of infectious diseases

 

Smallpox

In the late 18th century, British surgeon and physician, Edward Jenner, hypothesised that inoculation with cowpox could protect against smallpox.[3] Despite this, smallpox remained a deadly disease well into the 20th century, killing an estimated 300 million people,[4] until 1959 when the World Health Organization launched their global vaccination programme.[5] In 1980, smallpox was declared the first ever disease to be globally eradicated.[3]

Polio

Poliomyelitis, commonly known as polio, is an infectious disease passed from person to person through contact with faeces, saliva or mucus.[6] Before a vaccination was introduced, epidemics would result in up to 750 deaths in the UK each year. [6] The disease mainly affects children under five, and can lead to irreversible paralysis and death.[7] A vaccine was invented in 1955 and deployed widely,[8] sparing countless children from the life-limiting effects of polio or death.[7]

Measles

Before the introduction of a measles vaccine in 1963, major epidemics occurred every 2-3 years and caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths globally each year.[9]

Tetanus

Tetanus is an infectious disease caused by the toxin of a bacterium, and leads to painful muscle contractions.[10] It caused 314,000 deaths globally in 1990.[10] The widespread use of a vaccine meant that in 2017, there were just over 38,000 deaths.

Vaccines and COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccines have been developed using this same science that has been around for decades.[11] While there is still a lot to learn about COVID-19, we do know that getting vaccinated against the disease can protect the people around you.[11]

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT VACCINATION, PLEASE SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR.

 

References

[1] World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. Cancer data and statistics. Available at http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/cancer.... Last accessed December 2021.

[2] Ferlay J, Colombet M, Soerjomataram I, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 countries and 25 major cancers in 2018. Eur J Cancer. 2018;103:356-387.

[3] HEAL. Men Prostate cancer. Available at https://www.env-health.org/IMG/pdf/prostate_testical.pdf. Last accessed December 2020 European Cancer Patient Coalition White Paper on Bladder Cancer 2016. Available at: https://ecpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/ECPC–White–Paper–Bladd.... Last accessed: December 2021.

[4] European Cancer Patient Coalition White Paper on Bladder Cancer 2016. Available at: https://ecpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/ECPC–White–Paper–Bladd.... Last accessed: December 2021.

[5] Kamaneh Montazeri & Joaquim Bellmunt. Erdafitinib for the treatment of metastatic bladder cancer. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology. 2020;13(1):1-6.

[6] Cancer.Net. Lung Cancer - Non-Small Cell: Statistics. Available: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/lung-cancer-non-small-cell/statistics. Last accessed: December 2021.

[7] Eurostat, Statistics Explained. Cancer statistics. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Cancer_stat... Last accessed December 2021.

[8] Bray F, et al. Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018;68(6):394-424.

[9] World Cancer Research Fund. Worldwide cancer data. Available at: https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/cancer-trends/worldwide-cancer-data Last accessed December 2021.

[10] European Cancer Patient Initiative. Urological cancer. Available at https://ecpc.org/news-events/bladder-cancer/. Last accessed December 2021.

[11] Cancer.net. Bladder Cancer: Introduction. Available at: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/bladder-cancer/introduction Last accessed December 2021.