This year marks the 40th anniversary of the declaration, by the 33rd World Health Assembly, of the eradication of smallpox, a contagious disease that affected millions of people for thousands of years and that only in the twentieth century ended With the lives of 300 million people.
The World Health Organization (WHO) celebrated in December the opening ceremony of a year of celebrations regarding this triumph of biomedical science, placing a bronze plaque at its headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland) in the same room in which In 1979, the 19 members of the World Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Smallpox confirmed that the disease had disappeared worldwide.
The success of smallpox vaccination is not an isolated case. There are more than 40 vaccines developed against 25 diseases that have managed to control the effects of these pathologies.
Thus, the overall incidence of polio has been reduced by 99%, so it is considered the eradication limit. The tetanus vaccine, administered to prevent maternal and neonatal tetanus and introduced in 103 countries at the end of 2012, has protected about 81% of newborns against the disease.
During the period between 2000 and 2012, measles vaccination has prevented 13.8 million deaths. In 2012, about 145 million children were vaccinated against measles, a disease whose incidence and mortality have been reduced respectively by 77% and 78% since the beginning of the 21st century.
According to WHO estimates, in 2016, more than 70 million children in the 40 countries with the lowest economic solvency in the world had been vaccinated against rotavirus.
In 2012, about 145 million children were vaccinated against measles, a disease whose incidence and mortality have been reduced respectively by 77% and 78% since the beginning of the 21st century.
85% of cervical tumors caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) occur in developed countries. According to the results of a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the United States, the massive use of HPV vaccines reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer by up to 84% over a period of 4 years.
And to all these advances must be added the reduction in the rates of morbidity, disability and mortality associated with different diseases such as, among others, diphtheria, whooping cough and meningococcal epidemic meningitis type A.
The reason for the success of vaccines is explained by their great effectiveness in preventing life-threatening diseases. According to WHO data, these biological products prevent three million deaths per year – 60 per hour – of which 2.5 million would be children.
Currently, the innovative biopharmaceutical industry is working on the development of more than 260 vaccines for different diseases, according to a report prepared by the US employer Phrma. Specifically, there are 137 projects focused on the fight against infectious pathologies, 101 in cancer, 10 for allergies, four for autoimmune diseases, four on Alzheimer’s disease and five more in other areas.
The success of the immunization is such that the WHO figures among the three main health risks that Europe currently suffers, in addition to obesity and smoking, insufficient childhood vaccination, largely caused by parents who refuse to immunize to his children.
The innovative biopharmaceutical industry works on the development of more than 260 vaccines for different diseases