World Immunization Day 2022: History, Significance and Activities

World Immunization Day is annually celebrated on 10th November worldwide. This day is celebrated to make people aware about the importance of getting timely vaccinations against vaccine preventable diseases. 

Failure to get immunized will only end up generating expensive medical bills due to a disease that could have been easily prevented with a low-tech and cost-effective vaccine shot. 

Vaccines also help to eradicate a pandemic like COVID-19 that has been infecting millions of people over the past few years. During World Immunization Day, it is critical to educate people about the importance of getting vaccinated. 

Event World Immunization Day
Date November 10, 2022
Day Thursday
Significance The day raises awareness about the importance of getting vaccinations on time
Observed by World wide


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World Immunization Day History: 

Before the introduction of vaccines, people could only become immune to an infectious disease by contracting the disease and surviving it. Smallpox (variola) was prevented in this way by inoculation, which produced a milder effect than the natural disease. The first clear reference to smallpox inoculation was made by the Chinese author Wan Quan (1499–1582) in his Douzhen xinfa published in 1549. In China, powdered smallpox scabs were blown up the noses of the healthy. The patients would then develop a mild case of the disease and from then on were immune to it. 

Edward Jenner is deemed to be the founder of vaccinology. In 1796, he inoculated a 13 year-old-boy with vaccinia virus (cowpox) and showed how to attain immunity to smallpox. The first smallpox vaccine was developed in 1796. Following this, the smallpox vaccination was widely used around the world throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, resulting in the universal elimination of smallpox in 1979. Hence this was a very revolutionary and crucial discovery in the field of medical science. 

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This procedure, referred to as vaccination, gradually replaced smallpox inoculation, now called variolation to distinguish it from vaccination. Until the 1880s vaccine/vaccination referred only to smallpox, but Louis Pasteur developed immunization methods for chicken cholera and anthrax in animals and for human rabies, and suggested that the terms vaccine/vaccination should be extended to cover the new procedures. This can cause confusion if care is not taken to specify which vaccine is used e.g. measles vaccine or influenza vaccine. 

The 20th century saw a great increase in the field of vaccine research and development. Numerous people were gaining immunity to diseases that were once life-threatening. Methods for growing viruses in the laboratory led to rapid discoveries and innovations, like the development of the polio vaccine. Researchers also developed vaccines for other diseases that affect children such as measles, mumps, and rubella. Just recently we witnessed the Covid-19 pandemic during which the vaccination have played a critical role in weakening of the pandemic. 

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World Immunization Day Significance: 

Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Immunization helps protect the child from life threatening diseases. It also helps reduce the spread of disease to others. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease. Babies are born with some natural immunity which they get from their mother through breast-feeding. This immunity gradually diminishes as the baby’s own immune system starts to develop. Immunization is one of the most cost-effective health investments and vaccination does not require any major lifestyle change.

According to the WHO, immunization prevents between 2 and 3 million deaths every year and now protects children not only against diseases for which vaccines have been available for many years, such as Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio and Measles, but also against diseases such as Pneumonia and Rotavirus Diarrhoea, two of the biggest killers of children under age of five. World Immunization Day is observed with the aim of highlighting vaccination as a low-tech, cost effective, high impact solution to preventing illness and disease in individuals of all ages. 

Recent advances in medical science have resulted in enhanced protection bestowed by vaccination. Some diseases that once killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio is a prime example of the great impact that vaccines have had in our world. Another example of the benefits of vaccination is the eradication of smallpox worldwide, because of which immunization against the disease is no longer a necessity. Regular and effective immunization may be able to ensure that many such diseases the plague may be eradicated soon.

Even though some diseases, such as polio, rarely affect people in developed nations, all of the recommended childhood immunizations and booster vaccines are still needed. Travellers may inadvertently bring these diseases into developed nations and infect people who have not been immunized. Without the protection via immunizations, these diseases may quickly spread through the population, causing epidemics. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. 

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World Immunization Day Activities: 

Make sure you have been immunized to all the diseases on the vaccination list. Also, remember to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already and if possible then also try to take a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine for extra precaution as it has been a long time since vaccination began. Also make sure that all of the children of your house are vaccinated at the correct age for protection from the diseases.

Practicing a healthy diet can go a long way in maintaining good health. Meet a nutritionist and plan a good diet plan for yourself. It is true that vaccination helps in building immunity in your body but it would have been impossible to prevent diseases if you don’t have any natural immunity of your own so that’s why it is very important to build your natural immunity and the only way you can do it by maintaining a healthy life and eating a healthy diet. 

Spread the message about getting vaccinated by sharing posts on social media. If you have recently been vaccinated, you can share the picture on Instagram with the hashtag #WorldImmunizationDay. As there are still some people in our world who oppose vaccination because of many prejudices or misconceptions that they have in their minds so help in creating awareness about the importance of vaccination. 

Most Searched FAQs on World Immunization Day: 

1. When is World Immunization Day celebrated? 

World Immunization Day is annually  celebrated on 10th November. 

2. Are there any side effects of vaccines? 

Vaccines are mostly safe. Only some individuals may develop side effects such as swelling, redness or a minor fever. These side effects last only for a couple of days. 

3. Why children should be immunized? 

Children should be vaccinated to protect them from certain dangerous infectious diseases. Individuals who are not immunised, increase the risk that they and others in their community will get the diseases vaccines can prevent.

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