By Uma Chandrasekaran
Ebola outbreak. SARS epidemic. Swine-flu pandemic. If these weren’t enough to claim our lives, re-emergence of measles, polio, whooping cough and, of course the ever-changing strains of flu always poses a threat.
In stark contrast, according to WHO, the global life expectancy at birth in 2013 has risen to 71 years from a mere 20-35 years at the turn of the century1,2. How do these two pieces of data fit together?
It turns out that we are not dead yet, because of the advancements in the field of medicine, specifically, the discovery of vaccines. Many of us would have received the kiss of death from small pox or rabies - if not for vaccines, well before we hit the five-year milestone. Despite coming out in the clear from the commonly afflicted childhood communicable diseases, human races’ ever-raging battles with the microbial and viral communities continue throughout our lifetime. Vaccines are the prime tried and tested arsenal for humans in this battle.
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