Smallpox no longer exists today because of immunization. In the 1950s, there were about 50 million cases in the world annually. But because of a worldwide vaccination effort by the World Health Organization, smallpox was completely eradicated in 1980. We don’t have to be immunized against a disease that doesn’t exist.
Polio is also close to being eradicated, but it still exists in other parts of the world. We may feel protected here in the U.S., but we live in a global society where vaccine-preventable diseases are just a plane ride away. We have to continuing immunizing against polio to maintain a strong defense against the disease.
If we keep vaccinating our children and supporting global immunization, someday we may eliminate other vaccine-preventable diseases in the world and save countless lives. The shots you and your kids get make a difference to the health of our planet.
World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine safety information