Vaccines

How Vaccines Have Changed Our World In One Graphic.

The data in this graphic come from the web site of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, but a graphic designer in Purchase, N.Y., named Leon Farrant has created a graphic that drives home what the data mean.
Below is a look at the past morbidity (how many people became sick) of what were once very common infectious diseases, and the current morbidity in the U.S. There’s no smallpox and no polio, almost no measles, dramatically less chickenpox (also known as varicella) and H. influenza (that’s not flu, but a bacteria that can cause deadly meningitis.
This should drive home how effective the common childhood inoculations, made by Merck, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis, are. The pneumococcal vaccine, made by Pfizer, has resulted in dramatic drops in meningitis and pneumonia. When Bristol-Myers Squibb lost a patent case related to its hepatitis B drug the other week, investors shrugged, because children here are vaccinated against hepatitis B, so this isn’t a big market. The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine has been failing us, because immunity against it fades. But there’s still a dramatic reduction in what was once a common disease.
You can see more of Farrant’s work here.

vaccine infographic created by Leon Farrant
Update: To be clear, these data represent data collected in 2007 on past incidence of these diseases. This was published here, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The current data are annualized cases for 2010, per the link to the original data that I had included above.

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