Write a 2-3 page (not including title and reference) paper regarding one of the major
milestones in the history of community health and public health nursing.
How did this milestone influence the field and what priorities would you set for the work of
contemporary public health nurses
Milestones in Public Health: Vaccination
When seeking means of addressing diseases, scientists, researchers, and public health and
clinical practitioners always find prevention as the best approach by all odds. A common
preventive measure that stakeholders take against deadly ailments is vaccination. The practice is
unquestionably one of the most outstanding achievements of public health practice. Dr. Edward
Jenner remains to be a remarkable figure within the health care sector for his discovery and
sensitization of other scientists that an approach such as immunization existed. The researcher
interlinked cowpox and smallpox to develop the first widely-recognized vaccine in the year 1976
(The College of Physicians in Philadelphia, 2015). The method was a few years later, to
eradicate the smallpox nuance.
Vaccination has saved mankind from probable killer diseases. To the present, illnesses
such as measles, poliomyelitis, and smallpox are no more great worries in health services. As
opposed to the present, these diseases accounted for millions of deaths, especially among the
juveniles, years before the discovery of their respective vaccines. The elimination of deadly
pathogens promotes the livelihood of the humankind. People can live longer and pursue their life
goals with reduced fear of diseases. The health care sector and governments have realized
MILESTONES IN PUBLIC HEALTH: VACCINATION
economic gains with reduced spending on previously non-preventable infections. In most cases,
vaccination is not only an effective approach to diseases, but it is also a cost-reducing strategy.
The influenza vaccine is one of the recent indicators of success in nursing and public
health care realized through vaccination. Influenza is a seasonal infection that leads to high
mortality if not checked. The disease is extremely contagious, and fast measures are always
necessary to take the moment it is noticed. In the US, influenza killed approximately fifty
thousand people annually between the years 1976 and 2007 (CDC, 2014). After the approval of
influenza vaccine in the year 2010, the disease is no more a threat, and the world can proceed
without mixed feelings (Poland, 2010, Pg. 2800).
The development of vaccines had significant influence in nursing and public health
practice. Initial discoveries motivated later research activities on immunization of ailments.
Public health researchers explored vaccination as a means of managing epidemics. Vaccination
also made nursing care easier and has reduced mortality cases, hence improving patient
outcomes. Public health practice has also realized benefits in terms of economic profits. In most
cases, vaccines are cheaper compared to curative medicines. Also, vaccines have facilitated care
provision as many people can access them in hospitals, work, pharmacies, practitioners’ offices
among other places (CDC, 2014). Vaccines are considerably safer than curative medicines, and
only a few instances of their intoxication are documented.
Public health nurses should prioritize on pursuing vaccination as measures of handling
diseases. They could also improve health care practice through exploring possible vaccines for
diseases that still pose a threat to the sector. Numerous diseases are still challenging the public
health care, yet there could be possibly unexploited vaccines. As care providers and
MILESTONES IN PUBLIC HEALTH: VACCINATION
professionals, nurses understand diseases, and they could identify possible routes of developing
vaccines. Also, nurses should prioritize on sensitizing the public on the importance of taking
immunizations. Some communities still die of illnesses whose intervention is simple,
vaccination. Being interactive and educative should be traits that nurses pursue during their
service delivery. Nurses should also pursue administering vaccines to patients as efficiently as
possible since they outdo other clinicians such as pharmacists and physicians in the practice
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2014). Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine.
Poland, G. (2010). Improving the public health: the US recommendation for universal influenza
vaccination. Elsevier, 28(2010), 2799-2800
The College of Physicians in Philadelphia. (2015). All timelines overview. 2014, July 9). Nurses play a key role in vaccination success. Modern Medicine.