Vaccination is essential for a long and healthy life for all: Experts
New Delhi, April 28 (SocialNews.XYZ) Along with a healthy, nutritious diet and exercise, vaccines also play an important role in maintaining a long life, experts said on Thursday, stressing the need for timely immunization of both children and adults.
The World Health Organization (WHO) marks the last week of April, between April 24 and April 30, as World Immunization Week. This year, the theme is “Long live for all”.
According to the WHO, the Week “aims to highlight the collective action needed and promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease”. He estimates that around 1.5 million deaths worldwide can be prevented with timely vaccination.
Vaccination has proven effective in eradicating many diseases, such as poliomyelitis and smallpox. Vaccinations have helped prevent illnesses and deaths associated with infectious diseases such as diarrhea, measles, pneumonia, and have also led to higher gains in education and economic development. Recently, vaccines developed against Covid-19 have also been shown to limit the risk of hospitalization and death.
“Vaccines have proven their effectiveness over and over again and now people who are vaccinated have a chance of leading a better life,” Dr. Raja Dhar, a pulmonologist from CMRI, Kolkata, told IANS.
“Vaccines are the most important preventative measure that also contributes to longevity and reduces morbidity rates. Now is the best time to talk about vaccines because more than 29 vaccine-preventable infections are present. When vaccination is given in due course, immunity builds up regardless of age,” added Mumbai-based pulmonologist Dr. Agam Vora.
However, pandemic-related disruptions, growing inequities in access to vaccines, and the diversion of resources from routine immunization have left too many children unprotected against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
In 2020, 23 million children did not receive basic childhood vaccines through routine health services, the highest number since 2009 and 3.7 million more than in 2019. As a result, the world is also experiencing epidemics of infectious diseases such as measles and hepatitis.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted immunization services, health systems have been overwhelmed and we are now seeing a resurgence of deadly diseases, including measles. For many other diseases, the impact of these service disruptions vaccination will be felt for decades,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement recently.
“Now is the time to get essential vaccination back on track and launch catch-up campaigns so that everyone can have access to these life-saving vaccines,” he added.
The WHO noted that reported measles cases worldwide increased by 79% in the first two months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. The world health agency also recorded at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin in approximately 12 countries.
While children getting vaccinated are a common topic of discussion, vaccinating adults is also the need of the hour, experts said.
Adults and the elderly with underlying conditions such as respiratory disease, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease, among others, are more vulnerable to infections that can be effectively prevented by vaccines, which would help also increase life expectancy.
According to a National Bureau of Statistics report, India’s elderly population will increase by 41%, with more people vulnerable to disease, the biggest benefit of vaccination would be a reduction in hospitalizations and severity, Dhar said. .
“To increase immunization coverage in India, everyone must take ownership of getting vaccinated on schedule. Only then will we be part of a healthy community,” he said. he adds.