Vaccines Save and Extend Lives
Since the development of the first vaccine by Edward Jenner in 1796, we have seen tremendous progress in our ability to prevent deadly childhood infections.
Child Health Day recognizes significant contributions to children’s health and perhaps no other medical innovation has saved and extended more children’s lives than vaccines.
Since the development of the first vaccine by Edward Jenner in 1796, we have seen tremendous progress in our ability to prevent deadly childhood infections, effectively assuring health and wellness for our children and a foundation for a healthy adulthood.
Jenner’s discovery in 1796 marked the beginning of the end of many diseases that had caused suffering around the world for centuries. A century later, by the beginning of the 20th century, vaccines had been developed for rabies, diphtheria, typhoid fever, and plague; by the 1990s, deadly infections like smallpox and polio had been eradicated or nearly eradicated worldwide.
Today, vaccines have been developed for more than 20 infectious diseases, and many are given to our children at a young age.
“Vaccines have virtually eliminated a number of childhood diseases and have prevented millions of deaths worldwide,” says Dr. Paul Offit, M.D., co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine. “With the development of vaccines, children are no longer threatened by deadly infection at their most vulnerable stage, and instead are given a foundation for health and wellness to last a lifetime.”
As a result of continuous development and innovation, today’s vaccines not only protect children, throughout early life, but give them increased longevity and quality of life for years to come.
Biotech vaccines help prevent and treat some of the most dangerous childhood conditions-increasing life expectancy, reducing costs of care and avoiding immeasurable suffering. In the U.S., the recommended immunization series prevents approximately 10.5 million cases of infectious illness each year and 33,000 deaths. Worldwide, 2.5 million child deaths are prevented each year by immunization.
Countless breakthroughs in vaccines have saved and extended millions of lives and protected the most vulnerable and susceptible to disease – children.