World Immunisation Week: Eliminating diseases through vaccination

Polio Immunization
Polio Immunization

Vaccines have significantly reduced the threat of diseases that were once widespread and sometimes fatal. Today, more people benefit from safe and efficacious vaccines than ever before – and the list of diseases that vaccines can help prevent continues to grow.

As we mark World Immunization Week/World Meningitis Day, let’s be aware about the critical importance of immunization bearing in mind that vaccination is a key strategy to containing Meningococcal meningitis, ensuring continued protection for the current and future generation while taking into consideration the current outbreak of Meningitis in the region.

Meningitis disease is an infection of the meninges, the membrane covering the brain. Bacterial meningitis is very serious because its onset is rapid and the infection is associated with a significant risk of death; it may also result in mental retardation, deafness, epilepsy, etc. It can be treated with appropriate antibiotics that also prevents spread. Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial form of meningitis, a serious infection of the meninges that affects the brain membrane. It can cause severe brain damage and is fatal in 50 per cent of cases if untreated1.

Several different bacteria can cause meningitis. Neisseria meningitidis is the one with the potential to cause large epidemics. There are 12 serogroups of N. meningitidis that have been identified, 6 of which (A, B, C, W, X and Y) can cause epidemics. Geographic distribution and epidemic potential differ2

“Immunisation is widely recognized as one of the most successful and cost effective health interventions. Pfizer’s goal is to protect lives with innovative vaccines to fight serious diseases worldwide and make vaccination against potentially deadly diseases available” said Medical Director Pfizer, Kodjo Soroh.

Meningococcal bacteria are transmitted from person-to-person through droplets from the nose and throat of carriers. Close and prolonged contact with a carrier of meningitis facilitates the spread of the disease.

“We encourage individuals, families and communities to learn the signs and symptoms of meningitis, the importance of urgent treatment of the disease, and that prevention is available through vaccination against some forms of meningitis” – Director Corporate Affairs Pfizer, Margaret Olele.

Pfizer will continue to deliver on its commitments to colleagues and customers, protecting lives with innovative vaccines to fight serious diseases worldwide. We are leveraging leading technology in vaccine design and conjugation in an effort to provide preventative solutions to these complex, difficult-to-treat bacterial pathogens.

Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.

Reference

1. http://www.who.int/csr/disease/meningococcal/en/

2. http://www.who.int/csr/disease/meningococcal/en/


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