Why are vaccines important in disease prevention?
How do vaccines protect individuals and community?
Do you know that when you get immunised or vaccinated, you are protecting yourself, your loved ones and the community?
Immunisation is critical to preventing the spread of infectious disease. When an individual is vaccinated against a certain disease, the germs are prevented from passing from person to person, and thus protecting the entire community.
Immunisation saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognised as one of the most successful and cost-effective health interventions in the world.
How do vaccines work?
What are vaccines and how do they work?
Vaccines are biological products used to protect people against infectious, serious and, deadly diseases. They contain a small amount of a weakened or killed (inactivated) form of the microbe that resembles the disease-causing microorganism.
When you are given the vaccine, it triggers and activates your body’s immune response. This causes your body to produce antibodies which defend your body against infection and enhance your immunity.
Your body’s immune system will therefore be stronger and prepared to fight future infections if you are exposed to the disease which you are vaccinated against.
Importance of getting up-to-date vaccination
Among the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy is to get up-to-date vaccination. This helps to provide immunity before you and your loved ones are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
You may have received vaccines you needed as a child, but the protection from these vaccines can wear off over time. There are other risk factors that will also affect your immunity towards other diseases such as your job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions.
What are the recommended vaccines by age?
Getting your child vaccinated is safer than your child’s first exposure to a disease. Through vaccination, your child can develop immunity from serious illnesses and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases. Hence, it is important to keep your child’s immunisations up to date.
The National Childhood Immunisation Programme (NCIP) in Singapore covers vaccination against:
- TB (BCG);
- Hepatitis B (HepB);
- Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DTaP);
- Poliomyelitis (IPV/OPV);
- Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib);
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR);
- Pneumococcal Disease (PCV); and
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
Vaccination against diphtheria and measles are compulsory by law.
To learn about child vaccinations, click HERE