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World Immunization Week

Anna’s Story

Throughout life, Anna has helped protected herself–and those around her–through vaccination. To raise awareness of the importance of lifelong vaccination during World Immunization Week, she’s opening up her scrapbook to the places where vaccination has had an important role in the milestones of her life.
Read through Anna’s journey to discover more about how vaccination helps protects all of us throughout life.

World Immunization Week - Anna age 7 - Polio

Childhood

Today, my teacher taught us about polio. We learned that polio is a very dangerous disease that can leave you unable to use your legs-I can’t imagine how hard that would be. She said that lots of people around the world have been working hard to get rid of polio completely. Vaccination is the best way to prevent this disease and put an end to polio forever.

Find out more about Poliomyelitis
World Immunization Week - Anna age 19 - Meningitis

Adolescence and young adult

When we think of going to university we think of fun, learning and new experiences. We don’t usually consider the risks of catching meningococcal meningitis. But recently, there’s been a scary outbreak of the infection on campus. One girl in my class has been ill for weeks and has now even lost her hearing. Others have also been to the hospital, or are forced to stay at home to recover, unable to come to lectures. The University put in place some rapid-response vaccinations and I think it’s helped stop the spread, thankfully.
I’m very fortunate that my mother encouraged me to get my vaccine years ago, as soon as I became a teenager. This way, I was already protected from meningitis. I just hope my classmates make a speedy recovery.

Find out more about Meningococcal meningitis

Adulthood

We had always dreamed of travelling far and wide on our honeymoon. We had saved up for years as a young couple to make sure we could afford to travel around the world from Africa to Asia and the Middle East. It was an exceptional six weeks of globe-trotting in places that were so foreign to us (and our immune systems!). With all the investment in planning and travel costs, we were sure to buy insurance. And similarly, well before departure, we asked our doctor for advice on how we could protect our health while on our trip, including which traveller vaccines we needed. He recommended yellow fever among others since there have been some outbreaks in recent years in various countries around the world. I’m very relieved that we’ve stayed healthy throughout this lovely whirlwind adventure!

Find out more about yellow fever 
World Immunization Week - Anna age 33-35 - Pertusis

Pregnancy

I’m so excited to finally meet our baby boy soon! At the same time, I’m really worried for my friend Isabelle’s baby, Louis. He’s only nine months old and has whooping cough which is very contagious. The sound of the cough is so distinctive, and every time you hear it, you just feel so helpless. So, I’ve made sure I got vaccinated against whooping cough, which help protect me and my baby when he’s born.
All it took was a simple question at my last doctor’s consultation to learn more about this simple gesture that provided me with protection.

Find out more about pertusis 
World Immunization Week - Anna age 68 - Influenza

Old age

The Flu. It’s not something you really take seriously until you get a bit older or it affects someone you love. I’ve always made sure I get my flu shot each year, but my best friend is really sick. She’s been hospitalized after a heart attack. The doctors said it was triggered by the flu she had recently. We learned that we are up to ten times more likely to have a heart attack after an influenza infection. We had no idea!
The flu’s not just a case of being holed up in bed for a few days, it can be genuinely life-threatening. And to boot, getting vaccinated to reduce our risks of getting a bad case of it can be such an easy part of our routine doctor visits.

Find out more about influenza 

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