The power of vaccines

(คลินิกเวชศาสตร์ท่องเที่ยวและการเดินทาง) ผู้เขียนบทความ : ผู้ดูแล

The power of vaccines

The power of vaccines


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Expanded/Essential Program on Immunization (EPI), an initiative created by the World Health Organization to develop and expand immunization programs across the globe. 

Since its conception, the EPI has focused on protecting children and adults from ~30 illnesses including tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and measles. Vaccine education, public health programs and collaborative efforts between government and healthcare agencies have completely eradicated smallpox and reduced polio by more than 99%.

However, with the recent COVID pandemic a rise in vaccine hesitancy has led to sudden outbreaks of diseases that, until recently, had been under greater control.


How do vaccines protect us against disease?

Our immune system relies on white blood cells and antibodies to track and fight all foreign and/or harmful substances that enter our body.

Vaccines help to train the immune system in a safe and controlled manner. By presenting an inactivated or live-attenuated vaccine to the body, the immune system can learn how to recognize and fight the substance without becoming overwhelmed. If the same substance enters the body at a later stage, the system is already well informed on how to eradicate the invader quickly.


Are vaccines safe?

Before any vaccine is introduced, it undergoes rigorous testing in laboratories and in clinical trials. Once approved by regulators such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), vaccines are continuously monitored to ensure they meet strict safety and efficacy standards.

During the recent COVID pandemic, more than 13 billion COVID vaccines were safely administered globally. Vaccinations against polio, measles, tuberculosis and tetanus have been delivered for decades and have helped lower global disease rates significantly.

Side effects from vaccines are generally mild and are usually related to the activation of the immune system, eg pain/redness at the injection site or a mild fever that lasts 1–2 days as the immune system learns to fight the new invader. It’s extremely rare for a vaccine to have serious side effects.


Vaccines during travel

Before embarking on any international travels:

✦ Contact your healthcare practitioner or a doctor specializing in travel medicine

✦ Ensure that your vaccination status is current.

✦ Discuss any recommendations or required immunizations for your travel destination

Travelers who are at an increased risk for serious travel-associated infections include:

✦ Pregnant women

✦ Infants or young children

✦ Individuals with an immunocompromised system due to pre-existing medical conditions or current medication use

✦ Individuals travelling to densely populated destinations or events.

✦ Individuals intending to stay in remote regions with poor access to healthcare for extended periods of time

Some of the most common travel-related infections acquired by travelers include:

✦ Insect- or mosquito-borne diseases – malaria, dengue, chikungunya, Zika

✦ Aerosol-borne diseases – influenza, meningococcal, measles, tuberculosis

✦ Blood-borne or sexually transmitted diseases – chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, HIV

✦ Animal bite transmitted – rabies


Contact us today on +6633-038-888 for travel vaccine advice.



World Health Organization (2024) 50th anniversary of the Expanded Programme on Immunization

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2023) Explaining how vaccines work

Department of Health and Aged Care (2024) National Immunisation Program Schedule

Department of Health and Aged Care (2023) Vaccination for international travellers