3 Ways Vaccines Have Changed the World

Getting a vaccine today is a routine part of health care.

However, the world was not always so fortunate. Many diseases used to ravage entire populations. Fortunately, many of these diseases have been nearly eradicated. Although vaccines can be a bit controversial, a vaccine can also be said to be so powerful that it has the ability to change the world. Here are three ways that has happened over the centuries.

A Vaccine for Smallpox

The roots of smallpox go back as far as 10,000 BCE. During the 18th century, thousands of people in Europe died from the disease, which also spread to North America as European explorers began looking for new territory to exploit. Indigenous populations in the Americas were decimated by the illness. It took decades to develop a reliable smallpox vaccine, but in 1980, scientists announced that the disease had been eradicated.

An End to Polio

Millions of people around the world were afflicted with polio before a vaccine was developed to control it. This nerve-destroying virus caused pain, disablement and death for people in Europe and the Americas. Perhaps the most famous person to suffer from the disease was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk made a world-changing announcement about his discovery of a polio vaccine. Eventually, the disease would be eradicated from industrialized nations, though some developing nations are still forced to distribute the vaccine to keep the disease under control.

The Whooping Cough and Diphtheria Vaccine

Like smallpox and polio, whooping cough and diphtheria used to be major problems in the U.S, Europe and in other regions. Today, a successful vaccine has virtually eradicated these illnesses, saving many lives and keeping children out of the hospital. It is extremely unusual to see cases of either of these diseases being diagnosed in the U.S., particularly in locales where the vast majority of the population receives the recommended schedule of vaccines.

Vaccines have saved many lives over the decades – whole colonies and families. Although there are some vaccines today that have not always proven to have the desired results, the history of vaccines tells a greater story.

Do You Believe These Vaccine Myths? You Could Be Jeopardizing Your Health.

August is Immunization Awareness Month, and at Test Smartly Labs, we think this is perfect timing. As kids head back to school and flu season lurks just around the corner, it’s important now more than ever for children and adults to protect themselves against preventable diseases.

Although vaccines have a proven record of preventing the spread of disease, in recent history a number of vaccine myths have circulated. Fortunately, vaccine myths aren’t having a major impact on national immunization rates — they are above 90% for polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox. Yet several outbreaks of preventable diseases have been traced back to unimmunized children, including the 2013 measles outbreak in New York City, Texas, and North Carolina.

In an effort to promote public health, we’re dispelling some common vaccine myths.

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