The World Health Organisation have planned to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through ensuring greater access to vaccines worldwide, the plan was to have eradicated polio and to eliminate the measles.
This had seemed more likely a decade ago than it does today as in developed countries mortality rates of both diseases had declined by as much as 99%. These targets seem less attainable today as the amount of measles outbreaks in the USA is higher than it has been in decades and in Europe in 2011 alone there were more than 25,000 cases of measles. These outbreaks can be attributed largely to a dramatic decrease in parents immunising their children. This decrease in immunisations was something of an anti-vaccination movement, and anti state-intervention sentiment, and was heavily supported by a now discredited report which suggested a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
These recent outbreaks entirely disprove the anti-vaccination concept of ‘herd-immunity,’ it has been shown that these diseases can occur in developed countries and this can then impact disastrously around the world. Obama and Hillary Clinton have both spoken out in favour of vaccines this week as the anti-vaccination voice remains strong in the US. The message which they are trying to convey is that we have seen that those who have not received the necessary vaccines do prove a risk to others, particularly the most vulnerable in society: children under the age of five and the immunocompromised are most at risk from unvaccinated individuals.
As developed nations, we should be grateful that we have the choice whether or not to vaccinate ourselves. Yet if you plan to travel abroad, you should also see it as a social duty to protect yourself and those that you come into contact with. Paranoia among parents is understandable, yet the risks of vaccination denial heavily (and statistically) outweigh the risks associated with administering vaccines. Although parents ought to have input into their children’s care, professional opinion sometimes should prevail, especially when it suggests that vaccinations are a right that should not be denied to children.
In order to show the benefits of being immunised, here are some helpful facts from the WHO about it:
- They prevent 2-3 million deaths per year
- Global measles mortality has declined by 74%
- Polio cases have decreased by over 99%
- Annual deaths from neonatal tetanus have fallen
- Following anti-vaccination movements, cases of measles soared
Communicable Diseases Information
If you are not sure which vaccinations you need if you plan to travel, you can use Mansa vaccine checker to check country specific information. The Centre of Disease Control (CDC) recommends having been immunised against these basic vaccinations, It must also be noted that in order to obtain a work visa for most countries you must be able to show medical proof of having had these vaccinations.
The best practice is to have your child receive most of the recommended vaccines when they are still in infancy, as children under five are more susceptible to contracting infectious diseases. The WHO believes that immunising from childhood builds immunity and is essential if these diseases are to be eradicated fully. This is the list of inoculations and dosage which your child can receive before two years, they can be given over five visits to a doctor or clinic:
- 4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus & pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
- 3-4 doses of Hib vaccine (depending on the brand used)
- 4 doses of pneumococcal vaccine
- 3 doses of polio vaccine
- 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine
- 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine
- 1 dose of measles, mumps & rubella vaccine (MMR)
- 2-3 doses of rotavirus vaccine (depending on the brand used)
- 1 dose of varicella vaccine
- 1 or 2 annual doses of influenza vaccine (number of doses depends on influenza vaccine history)
Should you require more country specific health information, you can download one of our free Integra Health Guides which will give you all the information you need about the health care available in your country of choice.