To vaccinate, a right or a duty?
Regarding the occurrence of measles and all the controversy around vaccination, it is necessary to realize how important vaccination is for all.
When administered, a vaccine gives rise to a specific immune system response (our body’s defense system) against certain micro-organisms, creating protection – immunity against the disease caused by such “bugs”.
Thus, vaccination has a preventive function, not by causing disease nor by not curing it, but by avoiding its development or attenuating the symptoms of the disease if it occurs nonetheless.
It has been scientifically proven that vaccination can save more lives and prevent more diseases than most medical treatments.
Over the years, the implementation of vaccination programs has allowed to control numerous diseases, some unknown to most people. It is the case of poliomyelitis, whooping cough or diphtheria.
In addition to providing individual benefits, the vaccination of a high percentage of the population gives rise to the so-called group immunity, which is partly responsible for the control and/or eradication of the aforementioned diseases in a given region.
Group immunity is an extra protection by preventing some microorganisms from circulating among people (because they are vaccinated). And, preventing some diseases from spreading in the community, by promoting their eradication.
In addition, group immunity allows to protect some groups that cannot be vaccinated, in some situations. As pregnant women, children who are not old enough to be given certain vaccines, or patients with weakened immune systems due to some diseases.
Each unvaccinated individual is at risk of becoming ill and increases the risk of disease transmission in the community.
Vaccination is an act of protection, it is a right, but also a duty!
If in doubt ask your pharmacist.