Preventing up to two and half million deaths – unnecessary ones, at that – each and every year, all around the world, vaccinations are incredibly important. Most of us here in the United States were vaccinated as children and most of us have or will go on to have our children vaccinated as well. Vaccinations prevent not only death, but illnesses that, even when survived, can have lasting aftereffects of chronic pain, scarring, and other such things.
And vaccinations, though always advancing through the use of modern science, have been around for far longer than many of us realize, first coming into being in the year of 1796, now more than three hundred years in the past. It was in this year that Edward Jenner discovered how to inoculate against smallpox, a disease that was often fatal and incredibly dangerous if contracted. He conducted these inoculations by injecting the material of an infected person’s smallpox blister into the skin of another person who had not yet been infected.
It was not until the 1940s, however, that the large scale production and distribution of vaccines became widely possible here in the United States. At first, the only vaccines able to be so widely distributed were those that prevented the diseases of diphtheria, whooping cough (officially known as pertussis), tetanus, and smallpox. As our scientific knowledge and ability has grown, more and more vaccines have deemed to be safe and made commercially and widely available to children in all parts of the country – and in many other parts of the world as well.
Take the measles vaccine, for example. The measles vaccine is relatively modern in comparison to some of the other vaccines previously mentioned above, but it has been around long enough that we can see the positive impact it has made. In the fourteen year span between the year of 2000 and the year of 2014, the number of measles deaths dropped drastically, by more than seventy five percent (seventy nine percent, to be more exact). In 2000, more than five hundred thousand people, primarily children, were dying of measles each and every year. By the time that we reached the year of 2014, however, this number of measles deaths had dropped considerably below two hundred thousand.
The flu vaccine is also an important one to get, though too few people realize this. This is likely because the flu vaccine is not one hundred percent effective, and it’s effectiveness is very much dependent on the flu strain that is circulating that year. But even though you can still contract the flu after getting the flu vaccine, it will be a much less serious version of the flu, one that is far less likely to have life threatening complications.
After all, the flu is a very serious condition, one that should not be taken as lightly as it often is here in the United States. In fact, data gathered by the CDC (the Center For Disease Control) clearly shows that more than seven hundred thousand people have been hospitalized with the flu in the last eight years and in that same span of time, more than fifty thousand people have actually lost their lives because of it.
Many pharmacies keep their flu vaccines in a lab freezer or undercounter lab refrigerator. A lab freezer is a great way to store vaccines and as the typical lab freezer or medical fridge freezer is relatively small, the lab freezer can be kept just about anywhere vaccines are dispensed. Of course, your typical lab freezer or pharmacy freezer must be well cared for, but a lab freezer that is kept at the right temperature and a lab freezer that is checked regularly is likely a lab freezer that will be able to provide the necessary vaccinations to many. The use of the lab freezer is only likely to grow as well, as more and more people understand the incredible importance of getting vaccines for themselves as well as for their children.
Vaccinations have the power to save lives and protect those we love.