'Tetavax' vaccine, Lyon, France, 1994
The vaccine is used to protect against tetanus, especially in young children. Vaccination against tetanus is part of the Extended Programme on Immunisation (EPI). The EPI was launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations International Children Fund (UNICEF) in 1974. The EPI aimed to vaccinate all children against the six main childhood killers: polio, diphtheria, tuberculosis, whooping cough, measles and tetanus. The campaign is now called the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and also seeks to immunise children against other diseases, such as hepatitis B and yellow fever. The vaccine was made by Pasteur Mérieux.
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An acute infectious disease, affecting the nervous system. Infection generally occurs through contamination of a wound. Symptoms include a locked jaw, arching of the back or neck and the inability to urinate.
Glossary: whooping cough
An acute highly infectious disease, primarily affecting infants. Whooping cough gets its name from the severe hacking cough followed by intake of breath that sounds like a ‘whoop’. A highly effective vaccine was introduced in the 1940s.
Disease caused by a virus most commonly found in children. Measles is spread through airborne fluids. In roughly the last 150 years, measles has been estimated to have killed 200 million people worldwide.
Glossary: yellow fever
Infectious viral disease of hot climates. Symptoms include vomiting, constipation and jaundice.
An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.
An infectious disease affecting the central nervous system. Affected individuals can exhibit a range of symptoms if the polio virus enters the blood stream.
A substance given to humans or animals to improve immunity from disease. A vaccine can sometimes contain a small amount of bacteria that is designed to stimulate the body's reaction to that particular disease. The first vaccine was developed in 1796 by Edward Jenner to prevent smallpox.
An acute highly contagious infection, generally affecting the throat but occasionally other mucous membranes and the skin. Diphtheria has been largely eradicated due to world-wide vaccination efforts.
Glossary: hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a virus spread through the contact of bodily fluids. It is one hundred times more infectious than HIV, and can lead to severe liver damage, but there is an effective vaccine available.
Glossary: materia medica
A Latin medical term sometimes used to refer to medical substances.