World Immunization Day is celebrated on November 10 every year. It is celebrated in order to spread awareness about the benefits of getting vaccinated and how it can prevent a plethora of diseases in the long run. Failure to get immunized will only end up generating expensive medical bills due to a disease that could have been easily prevented with a low-tech and cost-effective vaccine shot. Vaccines also help to eradicate a pandemic like COVID-19 that has been infecting millions of people over the past two years. During World Immunization Day, it is critical to educate people about the importance of getting vaccinated.
History of World Immunization Day
The tradition of immunization dates back thousands of years. As early as the 11th century, Buddhist monks in China used to drink snake venom to attain immunity to snake bites and would also smear a tear in their skin with the cowpox virus to get immunity to smallpox.
Edward Jenner is deemed to be the founder of vaccinology. In 1796, he inoculated a 13 year-old-boy with vaccinia virus (cowpox) and showed how to attain immunity to smallpox. The first smallpox vaccine was developed in 1796. Following this, the smallpox vaccination was widely used around the world throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, resulting in the universal elimination of smallpox in 1979.
In 1897, another doctor, Louis Pasteur, worked with the cholera virus and was able to inoculate humans with the inactivated anthrax vaccine. As a result, cholera vaccination was developed.
The 20th century saw a great increase in the field of vaccine research and development. Numerous people were gaining immunity to diseases that were once life-threatening. Methods for growing viruses in the laboratory led to rapid discoveries and innovations, like the development of the polio vaccine. Researchers also developed vaccines for other diseases that affect children such as measles, mumps, and rubella.
Even though immunization programs have been shown to have considerable health benefits, a wave of legal proceedings surrounding vaccines began, resulting in a decrease in profits for vaccine manufacturers, ultimately leading to a decline in the number of companies producing vaccines. This anti-vaccine sentiment and decline in vaccine manufacturing was stopped partially due to the implementation of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the U.S. in 1986. However, it was not able to completely eradicate people’s mentality because anti-vaccination individuals still linger in vast numbers around the world.
World Immunization Day timeline
Buddhist monks in China drink snake venom to attain immunity to snake bites and smear a tear in their skin with the cowpox virus to get immunity to smallpox.
Edward Jenner is regarded as the ‘father of vaccinology’ since he invented a method to achieve immunity to smallpox.
A period of growing legal proceedings around vaccines results in a decline in the number of companies producing vaccines.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the U.S. is implemented which stops the decline of vaccine production.
World Immunization Day FAQs
Is World Immunization Day a public holiday?
No, this day is not a public holiday. Schools and government offices will be open on this day.
What are the side effects of immunization?
Side effects after immunization are very often mild and usually don’t last for more than two days. The most common side effects are fever and there might be some redness, swelling, and tenderness around the area where you were injected.
What is the theme of World Immunization Week 2022?
Every year there is a theme for World Immunization Week. The themes have included “Vaccines bring us closer” in 2021 and “Vaccines Work for All” in 2020. This year, the theme is “Long Life For All.”
How to Observe World Immunization Day
Get your shots
Make sure you have been immunized to all the diseases on the vaccination list. Also, remember to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Maintain a healthy diet
Practicing a healthy diet can go a long way in maintaining good health. Meet a nutritionist and plan a good diet plan for yourself.
Spread the message about getting vaccinated by sharing posts on social media. If you have recently been vaccinated, you can share the picture on Instagram with the hashtag # WorldImmunizationDay.
5 Facts About Vaccines That Will Amaze You
Vaccines save lives
Vaccines help prevent more than 2.5 million deaths every year.
Vaccines cause “herd immunity”
This means that if the majority of people have been vaccinated against a disease, then an unvaccinated person is less likely to get sick since the disease won’t be spread.
Vaccines helped reduce measles deaths
Vaccines helped reduce deaths due to measles across the world by 78% between the years 2000 and 2008.
99% reduction in the occurrence of meningitis
Since the vaccine in 1988, there has been a 99% reduction in the incidence of bacterial meningitis.
Some vaccines are given orally
Not all vaccines are given as shots, some are given orally as well.
Why World Immunization Day is Important
To live a long, healthy life
The purpose of immunization is to enable us to live a healthy lifestyle. It contributes to an increase in our average lifetime.
It improves our quality of living
Vaccines protect us from many diseases that can induce disability and decrease our quality of life.
To make the entire world safe
Getting immunized is not just for you, but it affects everyone around you as well. As an immune person, the people around you will not be under the threat of catching the disease.
World Immunization Day dates