Modern medicine not only has the capability to treat and cure many diseases, but it can prevent many diseases from occurring. In this day and age, it is so easy to take healthy children and advanced medicine for granted, but without proper and widespread childhood vaccinations the public health of children, as well as adults, can be greatly compromised. In order to protect society from disease, it is imperative that parents provide their children with, potentially life-saving, vaccines. With multi-drug resistant infections, or 'superbugs', on the rise, vaccines are among the most powerful preventative treatment against disease. It is also important that parents understand vaccine mechanics so that they can understand the risks as well as the powerful benefits of childhood vaccines. Ultimately, childhood vaccinations are curtail for good public health and they are well worth the miniscule risks involved.
In order to understand and appreciate the importance of vaccines and immunization, one must be familiar with the general mechanics of vaccines and the immune system. Every living organism is at risk of disease and infection, and it is up to that organism's immune system to protect it from disease. Mammals, particularly humans, are among the the spices with the most complex and adaptive immune systems. In the third edition of, Microbiology - A Systems Approach, microbiologist, Marjorie Kelly Cowan, describes the phases of infection and the inner workings of the human immune system. According to Cowan, an infection begins as soon as a foreign organism enters the body, and subsequently, the immune system is activated immediately (410). Once the immune system is activated, a cascading chain of events will create an immunity to the invading infection. As Cowan explains, cell bodies called lymphocytes (better known as white blood cells) will, first, recognize a pathogen and send signals out to other lymphocytes to aid in the destruction of the pathogen.