Why should people get vaccinated?
According to the CDC, vaccines are one of the greatest success stories in public health. Through use of vaccines, we have eradicated smallpox and nearly eliminated wild polio virus. The number of people who experience the effects of preventable infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria and whooping cough is at an all-time low.
Progress is clear when you review this timeline of vaccines produced by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates how diseases without vaccines can devastate economic and public health.
This experience led the federal government to launch Operation Warp Speed, a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense to help develop, make and distribute millions of vaccine doses for COVID-19 as quickly as possible while ensuring that the vaccines are safe and that they work. It’s clear, hope is on the way.
As infectious diseases become less common, we hear less about the serious consequences of preventable illnesses like diphtheria and tetanus and more about the risks associated with vaccines. For instance, check out this piece from the CDC on 14 diseases you almost forgot about (thanks to vaccines).
It’s good to be informed about health choices, but the reality is that Americans have never been healthier and vaccines have never been safer than they are today. The benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks. As science continues to advance, medical professionals strive to develop safer vaccines and improve delivery to protect us against disease more effectively.