About vaccines

Vaccines protect people against serious and life-threatening infectious diseases. In the past, many people died of diseases that can now be prevented through vaccination. Diseases and complications that used to be common have now become rare or even disappeared completely thanks to widespread vaccination. 

Some of these complications include:

  • paralysis, lifelong disabilities, or death from polio 
  • blindness due to measles
  • deafness, cataracts or learning disabilities in babies born to mothers who had rubella in early pregnancy. 

Vaccination helps prevent the spread of diseases in communities. When a large percentage of a population is vaccinated, infectious diseases cannot easily spread. This is known as 'community immunity' (also referred to as 'herd immunity'). 

For more information on community immunity, see: 

Benefits of vaccination

How do vaccines protect us and stop the spread of disease? Find out their benefits for individuals and the community.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to build immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases, as opposed to achieving immunity by getting the disease. Vaccination prevents people from developing the symptoms of the disease, which can be severe. 

Vaccination programmes have wider societal benefits and can help reduce the social, psychological, and financial burdens of diseases by reducing pressures on healthcare and social care systems.