Vaccines give parents the power to protect their babies from 14 serious diseases before they turn 2.
Vaccinating your children according to the recommended schedule is one of the best ways you can protect them from 14 harmful and potentially deadly diseases before their second birthday. Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of:
- Getting the disease or illness, and
- Having a severe case of the disease or illness.
You can’t predict or know in advance if an unvaccinated child will get a vaccine-preventable disease, nor can you predict or know how severe the illness will be or become.
Vaccines don’t just protect your child. Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, health care professionals and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community – especially babies who are too young to be vaccinated themselves.
Most parents are vaccinating their children. Estimates from a CDC nationally representative childhood vaccine communications poll (April 2012 online poll) suggest that most people are vaccinating according to schedule. In fact, 88 percent of parents reported that they are vaccinating according to schedule or are intending to do so.
Most young parents in the U.S. have never seen the devastating effects that diseases like polio, measles or whooping cough (pertussis) can have on a family or community. It’s easy to think of these as diseases of the past. But the truth is they still exist.
Many vaccine preventable diseases are only a plane ride away. For example, measles is not very common in the U.S. because most people are protected through vaccination, but it is still common in many parts of the world. The disease is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers who are infected while abroad. Once reaching this country, measles spreads quickly in unvaccinated populations. This year, the United States is experiencing a record number of reported measles cases. Many of these cases are associated with measles importations from other countries, including the Philippines, where an outbreak began in October 2013. Most of the reported measles cases occurred in people who were not vaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown.
Large outbreaks of whooping cough (pertussis) have also occurred in parts of the U.S. over the past few years. Reported cases of whooping cough vary from year to year and tend to peak every 3-5 years, but not every state peaks at the same time. This pattern is not completely understood, but that’s why it’s important that everyone get vaccinated. If it weren’t for vaccines, we’d see many more cases of whooping cough.
Information provided by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC).
So what are the 14 serious diseases vaccines can protect babies from before they turn 2?
2. Hepatitis A
3. Hepatitis B
5. Influenza (flu)
8. Pertussis (whooping cough)
9. Pneumococcal Disease
14. Varicella (chickenpox)