The best time to stop a virus or bacterium is before it can infect someone.
Vaccines can give your body way to identify an infecting agent,
and instructions on how to defeat it—and potentially, avoid infecting others.
Vaccine Education Information
The human body is constantly dealing with invaders. Most of the time they’re detected and destroyed before they can do any harm.
But there are times when it’s not a fair fight.
Throughout our history, viruses like smallpox and influenza have killed hundreds of millions of people. So when it was discovered that the body could be armed ahead of time to fight the invader by inoculation with a vaccine,it was hailed as a breakthrough.
Since then, vaccines have repeatedly confirmed their place as one of the greatest public health advancements of all time. And their widespread use has resulted in the control, elimination, or near-elimination of many infectious diseases that were once pervasive and often fatal.
At Pfizer, we have a long history in vaccine research and development, including a pivotal role in the eradication of polio and smallpox. Through the development of innovative delivery systems and technologies (the term often used is “novel vaccines”), we’ve created innovations for preventing deadly bacterial infections like those caused by S. pneumoniae and N. meningitidis.
Today, more than at any time in history, people are benefiting from safe and effective vaccines to prevent infections and diseases. These injections have protected people of all ages, from newborns to seniors.
However, our work is not done. Many viruses and bacteria still present a serious health risk, and so we continue to focus on research and development in new areas, with the goal of adding more approved vaccines to tackle pathogens.
Prevention is the Best Medicine
When a patient has a serious infection, they may be treated with antibiotic or antiviral drugs that aid their body in fighting the pathogen. While these medicines can be effective, fighting an infection once it’s advanced and the patient is hospitalized is not as easy as as preventing it in the first place.
Vaccines work by preparing the body’s immune system with a defense against the pathogen. The virus or bacterium is recognized, neutralized, and destroyed, often before it can spread.
Our Vaccine Research and Development scientists are working to extend the benefits of vaccines into new areas. They are ushering in a new era of innovation for the prevention of disease, with a special focus on researching and developing vaccines for special populations such as maternal/neonatal, and vaccines intended to address hospital-acquired infections, and cancer.
Vaccines: Protection for All Age Groups
To help protect as many people as possible from life-threatening illness, we’re working to develop and distribute vaccines throughout the world. We’ve already seen that by channeling resources to the most promising public health opportunities, we can have an impact across all areas of life.
The science of optimism
Preventing the spread of infections
Combatting an evolving risk
Treatment at the molecular level
Smaller populations but big impact