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How vaccines defeat three deadly infectious diseases

by YCPress

According to a report entitled How Mass Vaccination Beat Several Deadly Infectious Diseases was published on December 14 by the BBC website on December 12th, many deadly infectious diseases have collapsed under the crushing of mass vaccination and medical technology development, including smallpox and spinal cord. Lime and measles. The full text is excerpted as follows:

Many of the world’s large-scale epidemic infectious viruses are old and have a long history, and some have existed in nature since prehistoric times. The most important achievements of mankind in the fight against the plague for thousands of years are the invention of vaccines and large-scale vaccinations. Many deadly infectious diseases have collapsed under the crushing of large-scale vaccinations and medical technology development, including smallpox, polio and measles.


Smallpox virus is a sexually transmitted virus. It was determined to be eradicated from the earth 40 years ago, becoming the first deadly infectious virus in human history to be eliminated.

According to historical records, the ancient Chinese method of immunization uses human sage, that is, the virus on smallpox patients. Similar immunization methods were found in ancient India and Africa. In 1688, Russian doctors brought back the Chinese method of ethnic origin and then introduced it to Turkey.

However, the world’s first true smallpox vaccine was invented by Edward Jenner, an Englishman in 1796, using viruses on cows. Jenner’s vaccine was introduced to China in 1805, because it was safer to inoculate cattle than human, so it gradually replaced the ancient method of inoculation.

In 1967, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Plan to Eliminate Smallpox. After more than ten years of efforts, it was finally announced in October 1979 that the world had eliminated smallpox.

The elimination of smallpox cannot be separated from capital investment and scientific and technological progress. Two scientific and technological inventions have made it possible to vaccinate on a large scale: freeze-dried vaccines that are easy to store and transport, and double-headed needles for vaccination. The advent of double-headed needles has promoted the popularity of vaccination. Freeze-dried vaccines can be sandwiched between the gaps of needles, and the needles can be disinfected and reused after use.

The original vaccination target set by WHO’s smallpox eradication plan was 80% of the population, but it was soon found that this goal was unrealistic and difficult to achieve. In India, for example, it is difficult to complete vaccinations of 20 million newborns every year.

Later, the Nigerian model was promoted globally, and it was finally successful. Because of the shortage of vaccines, Nigeria has targeted vaccinations in the east, which has a population of 12 million, that is, full vaccinations are only around the outbreak areas. 750,000 people were vaccinated, the virus was eliminated, and the epidemic disappeared.


Polio, referred to as polio for short, is commonly known as polio. The virus enters the digestive system from the mouth, invades the blood, nervous system, and then begins to attack the spinal cord. Although this disease is not as deadly as smallpox, it is equally cruel from the patient’s point of view – the disease is likely to lead to irreversible lifelong disability, most commonly leg.

Data show that up to one in ten patients with polio disability die from loss of respiratory muscle function. In the 1920s, metal lungs assisted polio patients were invented, but the disadvantages were great. Patients usually need to stay in this iron box for weeks for treatment, and some patients have to lie in that iron box for life.

Another dangerous point of this infectious virus is that there are no obvious external symptoms after infection, such as spots. It is an ancient virus, but it was not until 1905 that human beings revealed its essence: a virus that can be transmitted.

In 1952, American physician Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine, and Albert Sabin introduced an improved version in 1961, and the vaccination method was changed from injection to oral. This is a major breakthrough in epidemic prevention. After the emergence of oral vaccines, the number of polio infections in the United States and Europe decreased significantly.

Gu Fangzhou, a Chinese medical scientist and virology expert, developed the first batch of live polio vaccines in 1960, and in 1962, he took the lead in developing a live attenuated sugar pills vaccine. After the popularity of this small sugar pill in China, the incidence of polio has dropped sharply.

In 1988, WHO launched the Global Polio Eradication Action. The United States was the first country to be recognized by WHO in 1994 to eliminate polio and become a polio-free country; subsequent certifications to have blocked the spread of polio wild virus in the western Pacific region and China (2000), Europe (2002) and Southeast Asia (2014).

Vaccines and treatments have saved about 18 million people from paralysis caused by disease, and 1.5 million children have survived.

At present, the only countries in the world that have not eliminated the polio virus infection are Afghanistan and Pakistan, with dozens of infections every year.


Measles is a highly infectious viral disease. Before the widespread use of measles vaccine, almost every child had been infected with measles. Infants and young children, people with chronic diseases, people with immune system impairment, or people with severe malnutrition (such as vitamin A deficiency) are at high risk for measles complications. Before the emergence of the vaccine, 2.6 million people worldwide were killed by measles every year.

In 1963, the measles vaccine was launched, and medical technology was also improved year by year.

Since the 1960s, live attenuated measles vaccine with good immune effect has become popular. Comprehensive immunization strategies have proved effective in many countries. Some developed countries have eliminated measles or can effectively control the spread of the disease.

However, the measles virus is highly infectious and the epidemic spreads rapidly. The vaccination rate of children in many countries in Africa and Asia is still very low.

Measles virus is transmitted through coughing, saliva foam released during sneezing or direct contact. Symptoms include high fever, rash, and can also cause a variety of potentially fatal complications, such as pneumonia, encephalitis and diarrhea. Measles virus spreads in areas with an immune rate of less than 95%.

The number of measles infections in the United States and Europe has been on the rise in recent years, while the number of vaccinations is decreasing, mainly due to concerns about the possible side effects of vaccines, although there is no conclusive medical evidence in this regard.

WHO emphasizes that the live attenuated measles vaccine currently used globally is safe, effective and relatively inexpensive, so it can be used for immunization planning. WHO recommends that all children who are susceptible and adults without vaccination contraindications be immunized against measles. WHO believes that the investment in measles virus prevention and treatment is insufficient, and an additional $255 million is needed.