In this study session, you have learned that:
- Immunization is beneficial and effective in the prevention of disease, death and disability from vaccine-preventable diseases. Worldwide, more than 2.5 million childhood deaths are prevented by immunization each year.
- The vaccine activates the immune system to produce antibodies and memory cells, which identify and attack infectious agents used in making the vaccine if the live organisms get into the body in the future.
- Immunity is the state of being resistant to a particular infection; it can be naturally or artificially acquired, either as active or passive immunity.
- Immunization of over 80% of the population gives protection to the susceptible population in a community through herd immunity to vaccine-preventable diseases that are transmitted from person to person.
- Vaccines can be prepared as live-attenuated or killed (inactivated) vaccines, or as sub-unit, recombinant or conjugate vaccines.
- The vaccine-preventable diseases targeted in the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) are: tuberculosis (TB), poliomyelitis (polio), diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, measles, pneumonia and meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria; pneumonia and other infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria; and hepatitis B diseases of the liver and diarrhoeal disease caused by rotaviruses.
- To achieve the objectives of the EPI, you have an important role in implementing the national strategies to increase and sustain high immunization coverage, increase the quality of the immunization service, reduce missed vaccinations and trace defaulters, improve public awareness and community participation in immunization programmes, and ensure prompt reporting and improved control of vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Immunization activities consist of five key operational components: service delivery, logistics, vaccine supply and quality, disease surveillance, advocacy and communication. In addition, sustainable financing, effective management and strong human and institutional resources are also required.
Last modified: Saturday, 24 May 2014, 12:04 PM