There have been, in the last 20 years, natural, or perhaps unnatural, experiments that have helped shed light on the efficacy of vaccines. Many societies, for reason of political unrest, religion, or a lack of understanding of science and medicine have seen the rates of vaccination decline and, with that decline, an increase in the cases of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Infectious disease spread in populations is not simple. Hygiene, nutrition, access to health care, and education all play a role in the spread of communicable diseases. Vaccines have been critical in driving the rates of vaccine preventable illnesses to almost zero, but they are not the only intervention in our armamentarium. (more…)