Health awareness

Helping protect life

From birth to adulthood

April 1, 2019

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Vaccination is one of the many ways you can help protect your loved ones every day.

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MSD commends and supports the efforts of global health stakeholders, including the World Health Organization (WHO), in raising awareness about the importance of vaccination and helping to prevent infectious diseases around the world.

little boy pointing to bandage

Vaccines are one of the greatest public health success stories in history…

and help protect people of all ages against certain diseases.
Vaccines help prevent more than 28 diseases.

Vaccination is estimated to help prevent between 2 and 3 million deaths each year. It is one of the most cost-effective health investments, with proven strategies that make it accessible to even the most hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations.

World Health Organization, 2018

ITL baby receiving vaccine

Broader vaccination coverage has eradicated smallpox and significantly decreased the incidence of some vaccine-preventable diseases.

Child taking polio vaccine


is on the brink of eradication. In 1988, polio was estimated to have paralyzed more than 350,000 people every year. Since that time, polio case numbers have decreased by over 99%.

Doctor in white lab coat holding vaccination syringe

Small pox

existed for at least 3,000 years and was one of the world’s most feared diseases until it was declared eradicated in 1979 after the success of a global vaccination program.

However there is more work to do…

According to the WHO, among the top global health threats for 2019 is vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – which threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.

Baby getting vaccination shot

Targets for the Global Vaccine Action Plan to eliminate certain diseases by 2020 are
behind schedule.

Child looking up

Globally, an estimated 19.9 million children in 2017 had not received all recommended vaccines.

Elderly woman in shirt and apron

Additionally, with a growing aging population, there is a public health need to increase the focus on adult vaccination.

MSD and its legacy companies have a 100-year history of innovation and commitment to preventing disease by discovering, developing and delivering vaccines.

Our broad portfolio of vaccines helps prevent diseases affecting all stages of life, from infancy through adulthood.

We are committed to keeping pace with the ever-evolving infectious disease landscape by researching and developing vaccine candidates for many important diseases.