ICBAS - Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar

One Health —
One Health in Action

Vaccines – a One Health super tool!

March 2023

By Begoña Pérez-Cabezas, ICBAS

PORTO - Smallpox, caused by the variola virus, was one of the most devastating infectious diseases for humanity. The smallpox vaccine, created by Edward Jenner in 1796, was the first successful vaccine to be developed. Jenner observed that milkmaids who previously suffered from cowpox did not develop smallpox, and showed that a similar inoculation could be used to prevent smallpox in humans. This link between a veterinary and a human disease, established by a farmer and a physician, is an example of ther One Health approach.
Vaccines are one of the most important tools for infectious disease prevention, control and eradication. But vaccinating only people is not enough to ensure the health of all. Animal vaccines are an essential barrier to prevent the transmission of some zoonoses - diseases that spread from animals to humans. Their use can control diseases in companion and domesticated animals, such are, for instance, the Rift Valley fever and rabies. They are also useful to ensure safe food supplies through maintaining healthy livestock populations. One case in point is the vaccination of poultry against Salmonella.
But the benefits of vaccination do not stop here! Vaccines are also key for reducing antimicrobial use and to prevent the emergence and spread of drug resistance which affects the human, animal, and environmental sectors. And their use also plays a beneficial role in climate change, as the increase of animal productivity diminish the Greenhouse gas emission per kg of animal food produced.
Vaccination has a big impact on everyone's health. Be part of the solution and get vaccinated!

Image Credits: Mat Napo, Unsplash.

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