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Vaccines: 10 Things You Need to Know
December 23, 2014

  • Vaccines effectively, efficiently and safely prevent disease.

  • Widespread, consistent administration of vaccines has reduced diseases like diphtheria, mumps and measles as much as 99 percent.

  • Close-up of gloved hands giving injection in child’s arm (Energize the Chain)
    Vaccines have dramatically reduced the occurrence of diseases that killed millions of young children in the past.

    Full-scale distribution of the smallpox vaccine eradicated the disease in 1980.

  • The occurrence of polio has declined 99 percent since a global vaccination campaign began in 1988.

  • An estimated 350,000 annual polio cases appeared worldwide in the 1980s. 2013 saw 416 cases. As 2014 ends, only 316 polio cases have appeared worldwide.

  • Vaccines remove a major barrier to human development by helping people stay healthy. Immunized children are more likely to thrive, attend school and grow up to become healthy, productive adults.

  • Vaccination protects a child’s cognitive skills, physical strength and school performance. Greater developmental success will contribute to an individual’s long-term productivity.

  • Vaccines save time and money for health systems and families as the burdens of illness and long-term disability are reduced.

  • Parents regain productive time and potential earnings when they are not caring for children stricken with infectious diseases.

  • Families are relieved of the trials and expenses of caring for children with long-term disabilities that may result from infectious diseases.

The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author or interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government.