The Human Immune System Is A Complex Defence Mechanism That Protects The Body From Harmful Pathogens Essay

1486 WordsSep 1, 20146 Pages
The human immune system is a complex defence mechanism that protects the body from harmful pathogens. Our innate immunity provides humans with a thorough degree of protection, but epidemics are still common throughout the world. To give an example of scale, over 14 million people die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases. In New Zealand a majority of diseases have been eradicated, but some such as whooping cough and pneumococcal are still present. To reduce and stabilize the amount of cases of infected individuals, vaccines are administered to help our immune systems recognize and counteract harmful microorganisms that cause infection. Due to their proven effectiveness, the National Immunisation Schedule in New Zealand recommends that children be immunised for protection from 11 preventable diseases before they are 5 years old. This is not a mandatory vaccination programme, but is recommended by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation. It is free of charge and the programme begins when babies’ reach six weeks of age. There are numerous conflicting viewpoints concerning the efficacy of vaccines. Globally, the medical community tends to agree that they are a safe, effective method of controlling dangerous epidemics. Incidents such as the MMR vaccine controversy in 1998 (the discredited claim that autism was linked to the combined vaccine) have tainted vaccines’ “safe” image, and the social backlash from that untrustworthy research paper are still

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