- Kids Health
Vaccines – 10 Facts you don’t know about it
1. Although Louis Pasteur is considered to be the inventor of vaccine first medic who used successfully a vaccine was Edward Jenner, in 1796, when he successfully immunized an infant against smallpox using cowpox –a strain of the virus who had much lighter effects on humans.
2. Most vaccines contain killed or live viruses cultivated under condition that disable their virulent properties, in order to trigger an immune response against that particular type of organism. Yet, more and more vaccines are produced based on new techniques, like DNA vaccination or recombinant vector .
3. Vaccines are under strict regulation of health institution around the world, such as FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in US. These institutes study and evaluate the effects of the vaccines after initial trials and validate or invalidate the commercial use accordingly.
4. Although vaccines are generally admitted as being safe, in some cases exists adverse reaction that can vary from local swelling or rush up to severe allergic reactions that in isolated cases can lead to paralysis or death of the subject.
5. In order to enhance response of immune system in order to provide long term protection against infection, vaccines are prepared with substances called adjuvants. Because the toxic contain of some of these adjuvants (such Thimerosal who imply a large dose of mercury) there are concerns about health depreciation on long term base after vaccination. To date, in United States, only adjuvants based on aluminum salts are approved for vaccines licensed for human use.
6. Massachusetts was the first state who, in 1809, adopted the first immunization law, requiring smallpox vaccination for the general population.
7. First case of law suit against compulsory vaccination was in 1904 when Mr. Jacobson, a citizen of state Massachusetts refused to vaccinate and filled a law suit against the state arguing that compulsory vaccination laws limits his constitutional rights. The Court decision was to deny his claims and favor compulsory vaccination laws.
8. As a result of global vaccination, smallpox, a highly infectious disease with a recorded fatality rate of about 30%, responsible amongst others by decimating native Amerindian population after the virus was introduced by the Spanish settlers, was eradicated since 1978. This is the only disease known to man who was completely eradicated. Another disease who is about to be eradicate as a result of a sustained effort of vaccination is poliomyelitis, who now appears only in isolated areas from Africa.
9. Over the times there were developed many theories about he harmful effect of vaccines, although most were unsupported. One theory states that AIDS pandemic originated from live polio vaccines prepared in chimpanzee tissue cultures and then administrated up to one million Africans between 1957 and 1960 in mass vaccination campaigns against poliomyelitis. Although this theory was proven false scientifically, it became a setback in poliomyelitis eradication efforts because part of population refused vaccination based on this theory.
10. Based on new medical discoveries and new techniques like DNA vaccination, new vaccines are developed in areas that weren’t covered so far such as various forms of cancer. There is even a vaccine developed in order to negate effects of cocaine, making it suitable for use in addiction treatment.