We all have been witness to the havoc COVID-19 has created in our lives. But thanks to the vaccines, in just the initial 300 days it reduced the attack rate to 4.6% from 9.0%. Not just the covid-19, but over the years due to vaccines we are now able to prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases and currently prevent 2-3 million deaths every year. Here’s a brief about everything related to immunization.
What is Immunization?
Our bodies tend to get affected by various infectious agents. The process of fortifying the immune system against all of these agents is known as immunization.
Immunization is undoubtedly an indisputable human right. Vaccines are given in different forms, be it through needles, or sprayed into the nose, or at times through the mouth.
Difference between Vaccination, Immunization, and Innoculation
These are three commonly heard terms in hospitals and people often tend to believe that these three are the same. But, to be precise they can be defined as follows:
Vaccination: The act of introducing into someone’s body to provide them immunity against a certain disease is called vaccination.
Immunization: The process through which a person’s body becomes immune against disease is known as immunization.
Inoculation: The set of methods of artificially inducing immunity against various infectious diseases is termed inoculation.
Types of Immunization
Our body achieves immunity to disease through the presence of antibodies our body. These antibodies destroy the disease-causing organisms and are disease-specific. Based on certain factors, we can classify immunization as follows:
Active Immunization: Let’s say our body comes in contact with a particular bacteria. Our immune system will eventually create antibodies against this bacteria and defend the body. The next time, our body will be automatically immune and defend against this bacteria. On the other hand, artificial active immunization is when microbes or bacteria are injected into the body, so they can be pre-treated.
Active immunization has the longest effects out of all.
Passive Immunization: If pre-synthesized elements of the immune system are transferred to a person’s body, so the body does not need to produce them is known as passive immunization. Usually, antibodies are used for immunization, but the effects of this type are very short-lasting.
When the antibodies are transferred from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy, to protect it shortly after birth, is also one of the best examples of passive immunization.
A vaccine schedule is basically the entire schedule defined by medical experts which lists down the various vaccines recommended for different age groups of people. It includes all the details including the number of doses, the duration, and when these vaccines should be taken.
We all know how vaccines protect our bodies against targeted diseases. But there are certain limitations associated with it too. At times due to a shortage of certain vaccines, it might be difficult to provide vaccination to everyone at once. Also, some people cannot be vaccinated due to their immune systems and allergies associated with it.
In these cases, herd immunity works the best. When most of the people in a community are vaccinated, the pathogens have a hard time circulating amongst people as most of them are immune. So the more people are vaccinated, it is less likely that the pathogens will affect others. This is how exactly herd immunity works. It is also known as community immunity at times.
Immunization Agenda 2030
With the vision of, “A world where everyone, everywhere, at every age, fully benefits from vaccines for good health and well-being”, the immunization agenda of 2030 is set as a part of the Global Vaccine Action Plan.
The WHO is on a mission to provide vaccination to each and every individual out there. Following are the end goals of the IA2030:
- Reduce mortality and morbidity from vaccine-preventable diseases for everyone throughout the life course.
- Leave non one behind, by increasing equitable access and use of new and existing vaccines.
- Ensure good health and well-being for everyone by strengthening immunization within primary health care and contributing to universal health coverage and sustainable development.
November 10th is celebrated as World Immunization Day. WHO, Medical Centres, and Associations across the globe are creating strategies and programs to spread awareness, help people get vaccinated, and introduce camps and programs so that they have the access to all the resources.
Get in touch with the healthcare professionals at Regency Medical Centre and know more details about immunization and get your immunization schedule.