After clean water, vaccination is the most effective public health intervention in the world for saving lives and promoting good health. Vaccines protect us, our children and loved ones from serious and potentially fatal diseases.
Vaccines protect us, our children and loved ones from serious and potentially fatal diseases.
Vaccines cannot give the disease they are designed to prevent. Vaccines contain the same antigens (or parts of antigens) that cause diseases but the antigens in vaccines are either killed, or weakened to the point that they don’t cause disease. However, they are strong enough to make the immune system produce antibodies that lead to immunity. If people are not vaccinated, diseases that have become uncommon such as pertussis (whooping cough), polio and measles, will quickly re-emerge. At least 90% of children have to be immunised to stop a disease from spreading.
In the UK, the national immunisation program is determined by the Department of Health. The routine vaccination schedule starts from 2 months of age to 65 years and over. Other vaccines are available for those with complex health needs or those who are more at risk. Please see below for information on vaccine preventable diseases.