Life-threatening diseases have been the biggest fear of individuals dating back to the beginning of time. Taking the lives of millions, it was almost inevitable that one disease or another would completely knock out the human population. Fortunately, Edward Jenner developed the first successful vaccine in 1796 to combat a deadly smallpox outbreak. The creation of vaccinations is among the greatest achievements in the history of public health. Today, there are few measures that compare with the amount of lives saved due to vaccines. In fact, many life-threatening diseases in the United States have been reduced by more than 99%. In addition to saving the lives of children, there have been a drastic economic benefit as well that has resulted in our society saving almost $69 billion. The benefits of vaccinations have not gone unnoticed by legislatures. Today, all 50 states have enacted some form of compulsory vaccinations for children who plan on attending school in order to decrease the spread of diseases among our youth.
© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston