Why get vaccinated if vaccine-preventable diseases have disappeared?

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Why get vaccinated if vaccine-preventable diseases have disappeared?

Although some infectious diseases, which in the past were the leading cause of mortality among children, have now become infrequent or rare in many countries thanks to vaccines, the infectious agents that cause them continue to circulate. Not being protected by the vaccine therefore exposes you to the risk of contracting that disease for which there is the corresponding vaccine prophylaxis.

It is a common thought that, since in our country the diseases for which we are vaccinated have largely disappeared, there is no reason to undergo vaccinations. In truth, the only infectious disease for which it is no longer necessary to vaccinate is smallpox which has been permanently eradicated. The other infectious diseases still present and for which there is the corresponding vaccine prophylaxis show a decrease in cases over time, but not a For example, in Italy the cases of pertussis from 2000 to 2010 went from 2,543 to 201 and those of hepatitis B from 1,528 to 282. An alarming fact is the reappearance, due to the reduction in vaccination coverage in recent years and continuous movement of people across borders, of those diseases that seemed almost eradicated. In this regard, it was recently highlighted that in 10 European countries, including Italy, measles epidemics have been reported in recent years and that in 2015, in Spain, there was even a new case of diphtheria in an unvaccinated child.
Vaccinations serve to protect both ourselves and those around us: the success of vaccination programs therefore depends on the collaboration of each to ensure the good of all.

1. Tognotti E. The eradication of smallpox, a success story for modern medicine and public health: What lessons for the future? Journal of Infection in Developing Countries. 2010; 4 : 264-266
2. Ministry of Health. Epidemiological Bulletin. 2014
3. Wicker S, Maltezou HC. Vaccine-preventable diseases in Europe: where do we stand? Expert Review of Vaccines. 2014; 13: 979-987
4. World Health Organization (WHO). Diphtheria reported cases
5. World Health Organization (WHO). What are some of the myths - and facts - about vaccination?

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