History Of Vaccines

712 Words 3 Pages
When a baby is born, it enters the land of microbes - a world of germs. Modern medicine does what it can to protect the infant. Its main bulwark against disease is the vaccine. Heralded by some, and cursed by others, the history of vaccines is rich. Starting with Edward Jenner and his pioneering achievement of the smallpox immunization, many lives have been spared from disease due to the vaccine. Since Jenner’s achievement, other vaccines have been introduced, and the incidence rate for several diseases has diminished. Vaccines arguably remain the greatest medical success in history. Vaccines, also referred to as immunizations, needles, and shots, protect people from major diseases; ones which can be debilitating, and often deadly. …show more content…
Years of testing are required by law before a vaccine is licensed and distributed. Scientists ensure the safety of vaccines by conducting a lengthy series of studies, including animal and clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for approving vaccines for public use. Vaccine approval is determined based upon the conclusions from the studies. After a vaccine is certified for public use, post-licensure studies are conducted on a continual basis by the FDA (CDC …show more content…
Others are close to being eradicated. For example, poliomyelitis, caused by the polio virus, is an incurable, deadly infectious disease that spreads through fecal matter (GPEI 2010). It was once considered the most horrible disease in the United States, causing death and paralysis across the country. However, because of the polio vaccine, developed by Jonas Salk, the U.S. polio scare faded away. Since 1979, the CDC has reported zero domestic cases of polio. Internationally, wild poliovirus transmission rates are declining. Its geographic footprint is steadily diminishing. For 2015, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a worldwide public-private partnership spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), reported “57 [annual] cases of wild poliovirus in Pakistan and Afghanistan, compared to 305 cases [in 2014]” from seven additional countries countries (GPEI 2010). Another example of disease progress is pertussis, better known as whooping cough. Pertussis is an acute infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The first outbreak of pertussis was recorded in the 16th century. By 1900, it was considered one of the most common childhood diseases in the U.S., as well as the leading cause of childhood mortality (CDC 2015). In the early 1940s, there were more than 200,000 annual cases of pertussis. Shortly thereafter, when the

Related Documents