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Cedars-Sinai Blog

Vaccines Save Lives

Nurse at pharmacy clinic vaccinating a patient.

Vaccines are among the most important public health achievements of our time and have saved millions of lives over the last several decades.

"Although antibiotics to treat infection have revolutionized medicine, nothing has been more powerful in terms of saving lives and preventing illness than vaccines," said Dr. Jonathan Grein, Cedars-Sinai’s director of hospital epidemiology.

According to WHO, immunizations prevent 2-3 million deaths every year.

"Vaccines protect children by training the immune system to fight off these infections before they are exposed and potentially harmed or killed by these diseases," said Dr. Vikram Anand, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Cedars-Sinai.

"Vaccinating children, especially young infants, is so important because their immune systems are not as strong as adolescents and adults, which makes them particularly vulnerable to a host of viral and bacterial illnesses," he continued.

Dr. Grein stresses that vaccines are just as important today as they used to be. "Some people think that because we rarely see people sick with measles, mumps, smallpox, or tetanus, it feels strange we still need to be vaccinated against these rare infections."

"In reality, many of these infections are quite common outside the US, and places where vaccination is not commonplace," Dr. Grein said. "Also, many of these infections are a simply plane flight away. It is easy to forget that the reason we don't see these diseases often in the US today is because of our high vaccination rates."

To make sure you and your children stay up-to-date on vaccinations, consult with your family physician.

Get to know WHO's 5 Facts on Vaccines and share the infographic below to spread the word that vaccines work.

5 Facts About Vaccines inforgraphic from World Health Organization