By Monica Mendoza
Around the globe, doctors and healthcare professionals continuously battle deadly diseases that negatively impact the lives of millions of people, and one tool that they effectively use toward that goal is vaccines. Immunization is perhaps the single most important healthcare decision a person can make that can save his or her life from vaccine-preventable diseases such as cervical cancer, hepatitis B, pneumonia, polio, tetanus, rubella, mumps, measles, and whooping cough.
While the act of immunization may seem simple enough, there is still a need to drive awareness and education on it. According to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), the level of global immunization coverage has seemingly reached a plateau at 86 percent, with no significant increase in the past year. It is estimated that as much as 19.5 million infants are still left out on basic prescribed vaccines.
The good news is that the annual celebration of World Immunization Week by the WHO is a great opportunity for all stakeholders and the general public to do their part, no matter how small, in increasing awareness and spreading information about the importance of vaccines in saving lives. There are many ways that you can do your share in preparing for World Immunization Week:
- Promote it with a custom wristband in your local schools and communities. A custom wristband reminding people of World Immunization Week is a simple but effective way to encourage more and more individuals to get vaccinated against some of the most common healthcare conditions. It can also be a great fundraising activity for your local charity or organization. Other ways that you can promote World Immunization Week is through posters, flyers, and events in your own community or locality.
- Spreading the news on social media is another way to help without even costing you anything. Your social media network alone is a great place to start to discuss the importance of immunization, especially for infants and children. Be sure to check out official articles, announcements, and thought pieces from reputable sources such as the WHO and share them responsibly on the Internet so that the spread of fake news can be prevented. There are numerous misconceptions or misinformation about vaccines and immunization, and they need to be countered with facts and data from official scientific reports and studies.
- Check with local legislators on how you can help support any laws, bills, or resolutions related to healthcare and immunization. There are many proposed healthcare measures in terms of government legislation that need the active voice of citizens. Lend some time in attending hearings and sessions where you can learn more about issues and how you can contribute positively in effecting legislation for the good of the general public.
- Visit your doctor and see how you or your family members can benefit from vaccination from dreaded diseases. There are different vaccines prescribed for various life stages, and it’s a good idea not to miss out on the opportunity to get yourself protected from diseases. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That is why healthcare experts and governments are adamant in promoting immunization because deaths from certain diseases can absolutely be avoided if only for the simple act of vaccination.
As science and technology steadily progress further in the field of medicine, more and more vaccines are being effectively developed against a bigger number of diseases and health conditions. Vaccines are perhaps one of the most important medical innovations in modern history, and by all indications, it will definitely continue to play a vital part in global healthcare in many more decades to come.