A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the vaccinations given to infants and young children in the past 20 years alone will prevent 322 million illnesses and save 732,000 lives just in the United States.1
From a historical standpoint, vaccines are a fairly new innovation. It was just over 200 years ago in the 1790s when the first vaccine was developed for the treatment of the smallpox virus. By the year 1800, approximately 100,000 people had been vaccinated throughout Europe.2
When the World Health Organization (WHO) formed in 1948, it emphasized the importance of immunization compliance around the world.3 One of the first undertakings by the WHO was the tuberculosis vaccination campaign that began in 1951. By 1960, 106 million children and adolescents from 64 countries had been vaccinated with BCG (the tuberculosis vaccine).3
Prior to 1963, before the measles vaccine was developed, more than 500,000 Americans contracted the infectious disease per year, causing 48,000 hospitalizations and around 500 deaths. After the vaccine was introduced as a regular infant immunization in 1963, the instances of the disease dropped rapidly to less than 60 cases per year.1
In 1966, another global smallpox campaign was initiated by the WHO. At the time, there were an estimated 10 to 15 million documented smallpox cases resulting in as many as 2 million deaths each year. By 1978, smallpox had been all but eradicated around the planet. To this day, this is the WHO’s largest and most successful vaccination campaign.3
As a result of American immunization requirements, small pox was mostly eradicated in 1979 and measles in 1982. The U.S. was certified polio free in 1994, and rubella and congenital rubella syndrome cases dramatically declined.4 To this day, standard shots given to infants, which include DTap, IPV, MMR, Hib, hepatitis B and Varicella, result in an estimated 20 million fewer contracted illnesses, 42,000 premature deaths were prevented and $13.6 billion saved in direct medical costs.4
Today, vaccines are more important than ever, but despite the nationwide programs and government assistance, approximately 10 percent of U.S. children are not being vaccinated for required immunizations.5 Such numbers can actually result in a resurgence of these diseases that had previously been strictly controlled by immunization requirements.
As an example, an estimated 17 percent of children are not getting the DTap vaccination5, which has resulted in a rise in reported cases of whooping cough.6 Instances of the disease have increased by an alarming 72 percent in babies under 4 months since 1990.6 This recent Los Angeles Times article depicts a map of the global rise of whooping cough and measles due to the anti-vaccination movement.7
New Innovation in Flu Shot Delivery
When it comes to seasonal flu vaccinations, a recent report found that 60 percent of adult Americans would skip getting vaccinated against the flu, and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of those Americans would skip being vaccinated because they don’t like needles.8
New vaccination administration technology like the PharmaJet Needle-Free Injector can help increase immunization compliance for those who have a fear of needles. PharmaJet also provides a better environment for the healthcare provider because it eliminates cross contamination, needlestick injuries and dangerous sharps waste in a small, easily portable device.
- “CDC: Vaccines Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives.” USA Today. Published April 24, 2013. Web.
- “The History of Vaccines and Immunizations: Familiar Patterns, New Challenges.” Markel Howard and Stern, Alexandra Minna. Health Affairs. Vol. 23, no. 3. May 2005..
- Williams, Glen. “WHO – The Days of the Mass Campaigns.” World Health Forum. 1988. Web.
- “Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, Immunizations, and MMWR – 1961-2011.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2011. Web.
- “A Snapshot of U.S. Children’s Vaccination Rates.” Haelle, Tara. Yahoo! Health. September 13, 2013. Web.
- “Whopping Cough on the Rise.” Ganguli, Ishani. ABC News. July, 14, 2013. Web.
- “The Toll of the Anti-Vaccination Movement, in One Devastating Graphic.” Hilzik, Michael. Los Angeles Times. January 20, 2014. Web.
- Target Corporation. (2012). Target Survey Shows Adult Americans May Avoid the Flu Shot Due to Fear of Needles.