Over the last 10 years, huge amounts of money have been invested in the progress of classical medicine. However, very few are important achievements of which we can be truly proud, that saved millions of human lives. The greatest achievement of the last century is the discovery and application of vaccines. Vaccines are unquestionably the best weapon against germs and virus infections. Also, they can be an important shield primary prophylaxis of some cancers. The vaccines saved and continue to save millions of people and using them disappeared from our planet’s deadly diseases. The discovery of vaccines stands out significantly. It is worth mentioning that the word vaccine comes from the Latin word ”Vacca” which means cow. Pasteur later used the word vaccine for all vaccines. The evolution of medicine is beyond imagination and one thing is for sure: Prevention is better than treatment.
- The history of vaccines
The first vaccine mentioned in the History of Medicine is the smallpox vaccine. In 1796 the British physician Edward Jenner observed that women who milked cows had blisters on their hands (cowpox) and did not get smallpox. Jenner in 1978 used the pus from these bubbles and vaccinated an eight-year-old boy, James Philips. James then came in contact with people suffering from smallpox but did not get sick. The first vaccine was a fact. It was not until 1956 that it began to be administered worldwide following a decision by the World Health Organization aimed at reducing and eradicating the disease. The history of this vaccine ends in 1980 with the complete eradication of smallpox worldwide. Two vaccines against rabies followed in 1885 and against plague in 1897. These vaccines were never given systemically but only to high-risk groups.
- The policy around vaccines until now
Before Covid-19 had arrived in the daily news, vaccines existed and in many countries, lots of them were obligatory for all the population of the country. In schools, kids would not be accepted to join the group unless they carried a certificate that claims they have been vaccinated for specific diseases. The reason for that was to maintain public health to the desired level and secure that diseases that had been forgotten would not threaten humanity again. Besides, the cost to treat patients is higher than the cost to vaccinate the population.
- Thoughts on Covid-19 vaccines
Regarding the vaccine of Covid-19, a lot of doubts lay among citizens regarding its safety and effectiveness. The medical community doesn’t come united to the public to support the significance of getting vaccinated. This fact leads to people refusing to take the vaccine. At the moment most of us don’t even have the luxury to do it, while others believe it is not for their own benefit.
In the meanwhile, there are more and more countries in Europe that are designing ‘green passports’, ie – well-imagined – vaccination certificates that will allow those who have them to enter places such as bars, theaters, concerts, etc. Some of you may have heard that in France, Estonia, and Israel this is furtherly discussed. From a medical point of view, this measure does not surely ensure our security, because no one guarantees that the vaccinated will not be able to spread the virus and for this reason the ”who” does not recommend it.
So why propose such measures? There are many explanations: the most benevolent says that it is a measure of soft but steady pressure to vaccinate as many people as possible since if a 70% vaccination is not achieved it will not go very far and it seems that the percentage of those who intend to do so, vaccine in most countries lags far behind. A less positive explanation is that the state, being unable to control the epidemic, reacts mechanically, controlling what it can, in this case, who was vaccinated, and thus giving the image to society and to itself that it is doing something. Of course, the darkest interpretation is that the measure is a step in the realization of what was the purpose of the states from the beginning, that is, to gain under the cover of a medical emergency an unprecedented control in a social movement that under any other circumstances would be completely unthinkable. Each of these interpretations probably captures a partial truth of what is happening. In any case, such scenarios will likely be heard or implemented in most countries, and we will see a lot of ugliness in this case, in the next six months or beyond. For sure, we are not expected to get bored!
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