Childhood immunisations (health and wellbeing needs in South Tyneside)
- Immunisation is the process in which a person becomes immune or resistant to an infectious disease, usually by administering a vaccine. It is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions, protecting children and vulnerable adults from serious illness and death.
- Coordinated international programmes have eradicated some infectious diseases such as smallpox, and reduced death and disability from many others e.g. polio.
- Immunisation programmes have clearly defined target groups; they can be delivered effectively through outreach activities; and vaccination does not require any major lifestyle change.
- Vaccination is different from giving medicine to an unwell child to make them better. The idea is that a child won't become ill with measles or end up in intensive care with meningitis. Deciding not to vaccinate a child can put them at risk of catching a range of potentially serious, even fatal, diseases.
- Having a vaccination is much safer than not having one. They're not 100% effective in every child, but they're the best defence against the epidemics that used to kill or permanently disable millions of children and adults.