When we are vaccinated, the immune system is activated without becoming ill. Thus, some of the dangerous infectious diseases can be prevented in a simple and effective manner. The body’s immune system helps protect us from infections. Perceived infectious disease often provides lifelong protection (immunity) so that one does not get the same disease several times.
The child’s immune system is already prepared early in foetal life to cope with various infectious agents that the baby can face after birth. Vaccines use only a small proportion of the child’s immune system capacity and impose much less on the immune device than common infections such as colds. Infants therefore tolerate vaccination well, including several at the same time.
When most people in are population are vaccinated against an illness, few people are left susceptible to infection. When most people in the population are vaccinated against a disease, they also help protect the youngest children who are too young or too vulnerable to get the vaccine, and people with special diseases that do not allow them to be vaccinated.
With the help of vaccinations it is possible to eradicate certain diseases completely throughout the world. So far this has been achieved so far for the disease smallpox.
Trude Thommesen, ICM Board Member of Northern Europe