Make sure that your family and friends are up-to-date on their immunizations. With children enrolling in or returning to school, older students entering college, and adults and the health care community preparing for the upcoming flu season, this is a particularly good time to focus community attention on the value of immunization.
Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that once were common worldwide. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that once routinely killed or maimed tens of thousands of infants, children and adults.
The viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exist and can infect people who are not protected by vaccines. Vaccine-preventable diseases have a costly impact, resulting in doctors’ visits, hospitalizations, and premature deaths. (Sick children also can cause parents to lose time from work.)
Now, suppose you could make your child safe from some of the deadliest diseases in history and suppose that, at the same time, you also could help protect your neighbors’ children and other children around the country from the same diseases. Finally, suppose you could actually help to rid the world of some of these diseases that have been crippling and killing children for centuries.
You can do all of these things with one of the easiest and, yet, most powerful health tools ever developed. You can make sure your children get their shots.
There are 12 potentially serious diseases that vaccines protect against:
- Haemophilus Influenza Type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- Pneumococcal disease
- Rubella (German Measles)
- Tetanus (lockjaw)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
At least one shot is needed for each of these diseases, and for some of them, several doses are required for the best protection.
For more information on immunizations, call your local Health Department or contact your child’s pediatrician. You also may visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html.