Vaccines are one of the greatest achievements in human history, eradicating many diseases (such as smallpox) and greatly extending and improving human life. Unfortunately, many vaccine-preventable outbreaks (iO9) are making a comeback, due to anti-vaxxer propaganda and scaremongering.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has set up an extraordinary interactive map of the world, which visually plots global outbreaks of measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, polio, and other diseases that are easily preventable with inexpensive and effective vaccines. You can view it all as a whole, or view it in specific years (2008 onwards). It’s rather scary seeing the extent to which these diseases are returning, due to a lack of vaccinations among the population. Of course these are only the reported incidences, with the total number in the world probably being a lot higher.
To further show the extent to which vaccines have improved our lives and changed the world, check out the infographic below (Forbes).
Those are some impressive statistics! This is data from the US in 2007, and unfortunately, due to anti-vaxxer campaigns and fewer people getting vaccinated, the numbers don’t look quite as good now. However, it still clearly shows the effectiveness of vaccines.
If you haven’t already, go get vaccinated. You’re not just protecting yourself; you’re protecting those around you. Herd immunity is vital for many people, such as the immunocompromised.
Be safe, get vaccinated. Onwards!