In the 20th century, vaccination has been possibly the greatest revolution in health. Together with hygiene and antibiotics, vaccination led to the elimination of most childhood infectious diseases and contributed to prolong the disability- free life expectancy that in western societies increased from 50 to 78-85 years. In the 21st century, vaccination will eliminate the remaining childhood infectious diseases such as meningococcal meningitis, respiratory syncytial virus, group A streptococcus, and will address the health challenges of this century such as the aging society, antibiotic resistance, emerging infectious diseases and poverty. However, for this to happen we need to increase the public trust in vaccination so that vaccines can be perceived as the best insurance against most diseases across all ages.
vaccines; vaccination; infectious diseases; meningitis