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What are Vaccines and Why Do We Need Them?

May 15, 2013

This week the Disability Living blog is writing about vaccines — what they are and why we need them. Each week the Disability Living blog discusses topics that foster conversations that are beneficial to the entire disability community of Canada. The Disability Living blog is a source of information and inspiration to readers who have disabilities of many different kinds. Do you have a disability? Do you follow the Disability Living blog?

What are vaccines?

Most people know what vaccines are, but are not sure of how they work. Vaccines are administered to people in order to boost their immune systems and prevent them from developing diseases and illnesses. The vaccine is a medical advancement that has changed the world and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Because of vaccinations, illnesses like measles, mumps and whooping cough are largely kept under control/eradicated. Vaccines have truly changed society for the better.

A man named Edward Jenner is credited with the invention of the vaccine. He came up with the vaccine when he experimented with cowpox as an immunity to smallpox. Read more about the history of vaccines by visiting

Why do we need vaccines (or do we need them)?

People need to be vaccinated in order to avoid developing potentially life-threatening diseases and illnesses. The world is full of infectious diseases that, if transmitted, can be debilitating.

How exactly are vaccines made? “Vaccines are made using inactivated or weakened forms of disease-causing viruses or bacteria. When these are introduced to the body in the form of a vaccine, the immune system recognizes them and learns how to create antibodies to defend against future infection.”

What are your thoughts on vaccines?

To say that vaccines are controversial is an understatement. In the past few years there have been many news stories and general discussions about the safety of vaccines. Many have asked the question, “Are vaccines even necessary?” What are your thoughts on vaccines? In your opinion, are vaccinations necessary? We would love to know your thoughts on this. Share with us by leaving a comment on this Disability Living blog post today.

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