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VPD and Vaccine Specific Info

Vaccine-Preventable Illnesses and Vaccines

Browse through information below on vaccine-preventable illnesses and vaccine recommendations. You can also learn more in the vaccine and vaccine-preventable illness information section.

Chickenpox (Varicella): A highly contagious disease that caused 4M cases a year in the U.S. before vaccines. Severe complications include:

  • pneumonia (infections of the lungs),
  • encephalitis (swelling of the brain
  • sepsis (blood infection)
  • 2 dose series: 12-15 months and 4-6 years
  • 90% effective when both doses are received
  • The vaccine is very safe. It has been in use for 30 years and millions of children have been safely vaccinated.

Diphtheria: A serious viral infection. In children under 5 years old, 20% will die. It is rare in the U.S. because of the DTaP and Tdap vaccines.

  • 5-dose series: 2, 4, 6 15-18 months and 4-6 years
  • 90% effective when all doses are received
  • The diphtheria vaccines are very safe and have been in use since the 1940s. Millions of children have safely received them.

Flu (influenza): Seasonal influenza is responsible for about 36,000 deaths in the U.S. every year.

  • Seasonal vaccine (every year).
  • Effectiveness varies from year to year, but even if a vaccinated person does get the flu, it will be a more mild case
  • The flu vaccines are very safe. The first flu vaccine was licensed in 1945 and millions of children and adults have safely received one.

Hepatitis A: A serious viral disease that can be painful and cause ongoing illness for 2 – 6 months or more.

  • 2 dose series: 1st 12-23 months, 2nd 6 months after first
  • 94% effective when both doses are received
  • The Hep A vaccine was developed in 2000. It is very safe and millions of children have safely received one.

Hepatitis B: Chronic Hep B can cause cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. About 90% of infected infants will develop chronic Hep B compared to only 2-6% of adults.

  •  3 dose series: birth, 1 month, and 6 month
  • 80-100% effective when all doses are received.
  • The vaccine was introduced in the US in 1982. It is very safe and millions of children have safely received one

HIB: A bacterial infection that causes a wide range of symptoms, from mild ear infections to life-threatening blood, brain, lung, and spinal cord infections.

  •  4 dose series: 1, 4, 6, and 12-15 months
  • 95% effective after 2-3 doses
  • The highly effective conjugate vaccine was introduced in the US in 1987. It is very safe and millions of children have safely received the Hib vaccine.

HPV: A virus that can cause cervical and other types of cancers.

  • 2 doses (6-12 months apart) if a child gets it on time, at 11-12 years of age. 3 doses for people 16 and older.
  • The HPV vaccine is 99% effective at preventing HPV-type pre-cancers linked to 70% of cervical cancers.
  • HPV vaccines were introduced in 2006 and thousands of children have been safely protected from HPV since then.

Measles: One of the most contagious viruses known to people. About 1 in 16 children with measles will get pneumonia, the most common cause of measles-related death in children.

Meningococcal: Bacterial Meningitis can become very serious very quickly: 10 – 14% of people with meningitis will die 11 – 19% of people with meningitis will have permanent disabilities

  •  Meningococcal conjugate vaccine: 2 doses at 11-12 and 16 years of age
  • Meningococcal B vaccine: 1 dose at 16-18 years
  • Together, these vaccines are 95-90% effective in preventing meningococcal disease.
  • The meningococcal vaccine was first developed in 1974 with a quadrivalent version (protecting against 4 types of meningococcal) in 1981. Millions of children have safely received the vaccines.

Mumps: A serious viral disease. One in 7 children with mumps will develop viral meningitis, which is life-threatening. It can also cause infertility.

Polio: Infects a person’s spinal cord and can cause permanent paralysis. If the lungs are paralyzed, polio can cause death. Because vaccines have been so effective in preventing polio in the U.S., many families and providers have never seen polio and think it is no longer a threat. But polio isn’t eradicated yet; the world is VERY close, but we need to continue to vaccinate all children until then, so polio does not come back.

Pneumococcal: Pneumonia is an infection that causes the lungs to fill with fluid. Bacteria, viruses, or fungus can cause it. Bacterial and viral pneumonia can be spread from person to person. The vaccine covers certain strains of bacterial streptococcus pneumoniae.

  • Pneumonia (PCV13)Vaccine is a 4-dose vaccine (2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months)
  • When all 4 doses are received, the vaccine is about 75% effective
  • The first pneumococcal vaccine was introduced in 2000, the PCV13 vaccine was introduced in 2010. Millions of children have safely received these vaccines

Rotavirus: Highly contagious viral infection that causes diarrhea and abdominal pain. Dehydration, particularly in young children, is a serious side effect and, if left untreated, can cause death

Rubella: Serious viral disease. 80% of babies born to mothers who got rubella will have birth defects.

Tetanus: A very serious bacterial disease. Even with treatment, 10-20% of people with tetanus will die.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis): A serious bacterial infection that causes pneumonia, slowed or stopped breathing, convulsions. Half of babies who get pertussis will need to be hospitalized

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