August is National Immunization Awareness Month and as kids prepare to start school, this is good time to make sure their vaccines are up to date. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), immunization currently prevents 2-3 million deaths every year. The first vaccine to protect children against malaria will be piloted in three African countries in 2018. Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds and over one million people die from malaria every year. Mass vaccination campaigns in Africa since December 2010 have nearly eliminated epidemics of meningitis A, an infection that can cause severe brain damage and even death.
Global measles mortality has declined by 84% from 2000 to 2016 due to vaccines. In 2016, the region of the Americas was declared free of measles due to a mass 22- year vaccination effort against measles, mumps and rubella. Polio is closer than ever to be eradicated due to a major vaccination effort. Vaccines also serve as a frontline defense against antibiotic resistance because they help reduce the need for antibiotic application. Vaccines not only protect our own children, but also those children who dare not get the vaccine due to a compromised immune system or other legitimate health condition.
Karen Mizner, President of FTFW
This "Message from the President" was included in Volume 1, Issue 8 of the Hoosier Humanist Herald, which was published on 8/4/18 by FTFW.