There are a number of vaccine-preventable diseases to which children and adults are vulnerable. Some can make people very sick, put them in the hospital, or perhaps even be fatal.
Just because polio is never seen in the US anymore doesn’t mean children shouldn’t get immunized against it. It and other serious diseases are just a plane ride away. We’ve seen that demonstrated vividly with the outbreak of measles last year, which started with an unimmunized child who had traveled abroad.
Tetanus spores, which can cause tetanus, are everywhere in the environment. Seasonal influenza and pneumonia are also common. Here in San Diego we’ve had clusters of chickenpox cases, and pertussis (whooping cough) cases have been reported as well.
All this means that immunizations are still necessary and important to help protect the health of children and adults. For more information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent, please visit the following websites, which have good, thorough, reliable and accurate information, as well as links to other good resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vaccines Website
One of the most thorough and authoritative sources of information on vaccines, vaccine-preventable disease and related issues.
Vaccine Education Center - Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Another excellent site with a wealth of information. Be sure to visit the Vaccine Safety section.
American Academy of Pediatrics Immunization Page
Accurate and thorough immunization information from this organization of 60,000 pediatricians
Every Child By Two
This organization was co-founded to promote childhood immunization by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers and contains a wealth of immunization information.