Vaccines are clinical products containing weakened or inactive parts of a particular virus/bacteria (antigen) that triggers an immune response within the body when administered. These substances are used to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Vaccines reduce risks of getting a disease by working with your body’s natural defences to build protection. When you get a vaccine, your immune system responds.
Immunization is a global health and development success story, saving millions of lives every year. We now have vaccines to prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases, helping people of all ages live longer, healthier lives. Immunization currently prevents up to 2-3 million deaths every year from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza and measles.
Immunization is a key component of primary health care and an indisputable human right. It’s also one of the best health investments money can buy. Vaccines are also critical to the prevention and control of infectious-disease outbreaks. They underpin global health security and will be a vital tool in the battle against antimicrobial resistance 1.
- WHO. Vaccines and immunization. Retrieved from: