Immunization and Vaccine-Preventable Disease
Children and adults are still vulnerable to a number of vaccine-preventable diseases. Some can make individuals very sick, put them in the hospital, or perhaps even be fatal. Some parents may wonder why their children must receive shots for diseases that do not seem to exist.
Currently, polio has been eradicated and is never seen in the United States anymore, that doesn’t mean children shouldn’t get immunized against it. Polio and other serious vaccine-preventable diseases are just a plane ride away. This has recently been demonstrated to us with the outbreak of measles in San Diego, which started with an unimmunized child who traveled abroad. This last year 2010, the record number of increased pertussis (whooping cough) cases since 1960 and several deaths of babies younger than 3 months in California due to low adolescent and adult vaccinations against pertussis is another example that vaccine-preventable diseases are still with us.
Tetanus, influenza (flu) and pneumonia are also common in the United States. This means that immunizations are still necessary and very important to help protect the health of children through adults.
Currently, there are 17 vaccine-preventable diseases excluding travel vaccines. Below is a list of the 17 diseases linked to details about each vaccine-preventable disease:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Influenza (Flu)
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- Rubella (German Measles)
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
- Tetanus (Lockjaw)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
The following websites have good, thorough, reliable and accurate information, plus these websites have links to other good resources: