This section of the website is for UK healthcare professionals only. If you are not a healthcare professional, please click here.
This section of the website is for UK healthcare professionals only. If you are not a healthcare professional, please click here.

This section of the website is for members of the public. If you are a healthcare professional,visit the HCP section of the site. This website is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. You should consult your doctor or another suitably trained healthcare provider when considering what type of treatment is most appropriate for you.


What are Vaccines?

Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective achievements in public health, significantly decreasing costs related to hospitalizations, treatments, disabilities, disease outbreaks, and productivity loss. They have helped to prevent more than 30 common infectious diseases1 and save approximately 3 million lives a year globally.2

The Genius of Vaccines

Vaccines help protect against diseases by very cleverly inducing immunity in our bodies. They present our bodies with a harmless substance recognizable as the infection – for example a deactivated virus or bacterium.

This tricks the body’s immune system into producing antibodies and an immune memory, which then provide protection if exposure to the actual infection occurs. This immunity may be retained for years, decades, or even a lifetime following vaccination.

Vaccines continue to help save millions of lives every year and reduce related negative health consequences for much of the world’s population, including Europe.

The process of producing vaccines is complicated and uses live micro-organisms, so getting vaccines through to the finished products can take as long as two years.

For more information about Vaccines, visit NHS Choices Vaccinations

References

  1. WHO, UNICEF, World Bank. State of the World’s Vaccines and Immunization, 3rd ed. Geneva, World Health Organization; 2009, accessed November 2016.
  2. World Health Organization. Immunization Coverage. April 2013; Fact Sheet 378, accessed November 2016.