In the third episode of Health24's vaccine information series, senior research officer at the University of Cape Town's Division of Medical Virology, Dr Nyaradzo Chigorimbo-Tsikiwa speaks about vaccine efficacy and success over the years.
Chigorimbo-Tsikiwa also discusses mortality rates, resurgences of diseases and reasoning behind vaccine development being halted.
While there is an exceptional amount of speculation around vaccines, more recently around those developed for Covid-19, vaccines have come a long way since their inception thousands of years ago.
A British physician, Edward Jenner, is believed to be the founding father of the modern concept of vaccination after using matter from a cowpox pustule to vaccinate patients against smallpox, a disease caused by a related virus.
As time went on, vaccines were developed to manage, and ultimately eradicate several infectious diseases, some fatal.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched and endorsed several initiatives for global vaccine education and accessibility.
The WHO’s latest initiative is the Immunization Agenda 2020 (IA2020), which addresses challenges related to vaccines over the next decade. Over the next 10 years, their aim is to “extend the benefits of vaccines to everyone, everywhere”.