There are numerous lethal diseases that are now preventable by getting vaccines.
Many diseases can be prevented by timely inoculation; however, for a disease not to spread, 90% of a population must be vaccinated. This is known as ‘herd immunity’: diseases do not spread so easily since there aren’t many people who can be infected. Nevertheless, there are a growing number of people who delay and refuse vaccinations in recent years, resulting in the worst cases of epidemics of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases.
Unfortunately, these misconceptions mean that numerous children, adolescents and adults are walking around un- or under-immunized, with no protection against a wide range of preventable infectious diseases, leaving the potential for outbreaks.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV, genital or venereal warts)
Pertussis (Whooping cough)
Each of these diseases carries its own set of risks. Some can be more serious at certain ages, such as whooping cough which is most perilous in infants. There are rare diseases, like tetanus, that can be very serious for most people who get them. There are diseases that are highly contagious, such as measles; however, not everyone who contracts them will be extremely ill. However, predicting who will get critically ill and who won’t is an impossible task.
Additional Reasons for Failure to Obtain Vaccines
Financial constraints or lack of access to vaccines, especially in underdeveloped countries
Medical reasons (e.g. allergies, damaged immune system)
Diseases that are uncommon to a particular country (e.g. U.S. residents do not routinely receive vaccines against Malaria, which leaves them at risk of infection when traveling to areas where there is a high risk of the disease)