Like most things in our modern day life style, we tend to take vaccines for granted. Some, in ever growing numbers, are on the contrary pushing and inciting against vaccination for all the wrong reasons. It’s easy to forget, however, that since their introduction hundreds of millions of lives have been spared.
Vaccines given to infants and young children over the past two decades will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Before the measles vaccine became available in 1963, the virus infected about 500,000 Americans a year, causing 500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations. In recent years, the number of diagnoses fell to around 60 to 65, mostly in isolated travelers arriving in the USA. But doubt concerning their effectiveness or even motives (some claim vaccines are an Illuminati plot to cleans its population) have contributed to a resurgence of nearly forgotten diseases such as measles, which was officially declared eradicated in the USA in 2000.
To raise awareness to this evolving pattern of thought, the Gates Foundation, a philanthropic organisation headed by Bill and Melinda Gates, commissioned dozens of works of art, ranging from painting, to photographs, to film, ahead of a meeting of heads of state in Berlin at the end of this month. Some of the work will be showcased at an event hosted by the Gavi Alliance and presided by German chancellor Angela Merkel. The event is centred around getting donors to pledge $7.5 billion for vaccinations between 2016 and 2020. This money will help save between 5 and 6 million lives in the developing world. Here’s a few works selected by ZME Science. The full list can be found here.