Immunization is not only one of the most successful health interventions ever, protecting children and families from suffering and death. It is a human right and a key element in ensuring health, education and equity; and it represents important social and economic returns that go far beyond the individual person or family.

The immense suffering that today’s vaccine-preventable diseases posed on individuals, families and societies just 50 years ago should act as a constant reminder to keep investing in immunization systems.

When families are protected from disease and disability and the financial burden of medical care, these benefits both themselves and their societies as a whole.

How does immunization help eliminate disease?

Immunization is one of the biggest health successes of the last century. Some diseases that are caused by viruses can’t be cured with antibiotics. The only way to control them is by immunization.

With continued immunization programs, such diseases may no longer be a threat.

There have already been some successful examples of immunization bringing some diseases under control. The WHO declared smallpox wiped out in December 1979 thanks to a focused effort to immunize against the disease across the world. It declared Europe free from polio in 2002.

Why immunize?

The development of effective vaccines has led to a huge decrease in childhood deaths.

Benefits for you

As children develop, they’re exposed to many risks, one of these risks being infections. Most of these will cause mild illnesses. However, despite great medical advances, infection can still cause severe illness, disability and, at times, death.

The benefit of immunization is that your child has the best possible protection against dangerous diseases. This can give you peace of mind.

Benefits for us all

When your child is immunized, they’re helping to protect the health of the whole community.

When enough people are immunized against an infection, it’s more difficult for it to be spread to those who are not immunized. This is called ‘herd immunity’ or ‘population protection’.

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