Let us look at the history of vaccines:
Vaccines have over a thousand years of history. Until today, there have been many experiments, tests and studies done.
It was a priority to develop something that would avoid the plague that arose whenever an epidemic appeared.
The first reported attempt was found when the smallpox virus appeared on the silk route. The idea was to inoculate the pus of a patient in a healthy person.
It was risky, but when the benign symptoms where checked the person was more protected from the lethal infection.
In 1976 the English physician Edward Jenner inoculated the cowpox virus in the English farmers in order to protect them from disease and used the term ” smallpox vaccinae “, which would later lead to the word vaccine.
In the nineteenth century, Louis Pasteur finally understood the role of microorganisms in the transmission of infections. The idea was to cause the disease in the animal, and thus the organism was more resistant to the more aggressive forms of the same disease.
In the last century till present day, there have been constant developments in this area, because new viruses appear constantly. For example, in the early twentieth century there was the need to create vaccines against contagious diseases that appeared: TB, tetanus, yellow fever and diphtheria, and after the Second World War the need led to the development of the polio measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.
In this progress, some of the most deadly infectious diseases were irradiated, however, there was another side to the coin. The population felt they were “safe” and failed to give much importance to the vaccination schedule.
Given to this type of mindset and the systematic appearance of new viruses and new diseases, the head of National Vaccination Program in each country face great challenges!
So, what is a vaccine?
It is an antigenic preparation (protein of the infectious agent) to be administered in an individual, which induces protective immune response to one or more infectious agents. It is a drug but with a different action. For example, it serves to prevent rather than to treat the disease, and should be applied in healthy people unlike medication, which is administered to sick people.
Vaccines act as an “emergency team” within our body, always ready to fight the microbes that try to invade it.
When we put the infectious agents into our body through vaccination, the memory cells will allow our body to recognize it and produce faster antibodies to combat the microorganism for which we were vaccinated with.
In the case of contagious diseases, vaccines not only protect the individual, but all those around them.
Currently there are over fifty recognized vaccines, among them the cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, mumps, whooping cough, cervical uterine cancer, hepatitis A and B.
This is the summary of the history of vaccines. It is also a warning for everyone.
How many of us packed up our vaccination record upon finishing with school, or when entering college because it was no longer necessary to present?
You most likely have not noticed the next date for a vaccination.
Let us observed everything in this post, but first and foremost we must zeal for our health. Check your vaccination record and if you have not yet, update it in the nearest health center.
Clarify any doubts and vaccinate!
Next week we’ll talk about the vaccines for travelers and emigrants.