Monday, 15 February 2016

Vaccines – The knight in shining armour

The creation of the first successful vaccine catapulted the success of nimiety of vaccines that were to follow. History is a proof to the significant impact and contributions of vaccines to the mankind. The creation of the first vaccine for smallpox, developed in 1798 saw successful eradication of the disease from face of the planet. Vaccines are the perfect example to the old adage - ‘prevention is better than cure’ and yet there have been reported cases of people avoiding vaccinations.

In 2015, the measles outbreak in the US was reportedly fuelled by pockets of unvaccinated children in Disneyland (California). According to a team of researchers, most of those infected were not vaccinated or were incompletely vaccinated. Against a backdrop of low vaccination coverage, it becomes crucial to focus on factors that could instigate changes in the health status of any country.

Today India is certified as a polio free nation because it successfully embarked on the journey to absolve the nation from polio 19 years ago in 1995. The disease crippled more than 50,000 children in the country on a yearly basis. The reformation came about due to the methodology adopted by the government along with technological innovations like the indigenous bivalent polio vaccine.

The development of vaccines to prevent new conditions from appearing and old conditions from reappearing is a critical priority. Today’s investment in R&D will benefit tomorrow’s disease free future. The introduction of affordable health technologies with locally adaptable drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics can influence a positive wave in favour of combating diseases.

In past centuries, civilizations were wiped out due to epidemics that broiled in the environment and claimed millions of lives. All could have been lost had it not been for Edward Jenner who created a vaccine to cure the smallpox disease. Recently, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s post on taking his daughter for vaccination sparked many a notions around vaccinations.

One can say, that the battle against diseases is not over and there have been looming threats of diseases like Zika, Ebola and others. Salvaging India from the deathly grip of the disease needs a realistic policy interventions in favour of vaccines and an enabling market environment. Vaccines have reduced and eliminated many a diseases that killed or severely maimed people. Not only are vaccines safe and effective, they are a blessing in disguise and bearers of good health for all.

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Hilleman Laboratories is a global vaccine research & development organization focused on making affordable vaccines using innovation to address gaps that exist in low resource settings. Hilleman Labs acts as a catalyst in bridging the gap between academic research and product development by targeting novel vaccines and increasing the efficiency of existing vaccines. Know More

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