For more than 50 years, immunization has saved more than a billion lives and prevented countless illnesses and disabilities in the United States. Vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough, are still a threat. They continue to infect U.S. children, resulting in hospitalizations and deaths every year.
|1||Vaccine-preventable diseases haven’t gone away.
The viruses and bacteria that cause illness and death still exist and can be passed on to those who are not protected by vaccines. In a time when people can travel across the globe in just one day, it’s not hard to see just how easily diseases can travel too.
|2||Vaccines will help keep you healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinations throughout your life to protect against many infections. When you skip vaccines, you leave yourself vulnerable to illnesses such as shingles, pneumococcal disease, influenza, and HPV and hepatitis B, both leading causes of cancer.
|3||Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise.
Like eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting regular check-ups, vaccines play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Vaccines are one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available.
|4||Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death.
Vaccine-preventable infections are dangerous. Every year, approximately 50,000 US adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases in the US.
|5||Vaccines are safe.
The US has the best post-licensure surveillance system in the world making vaccines extremely safe. There is extraordinarily strong data from many different medical investigators all pointing to the safety of vaccines. In fact, vaccines are among the safest products in all of medicine.
|6||Vaccines won’t give you the disease they are designed to prevent.
You cannot “catch” the disease from the vaccine. Some vaccines contain “killed” virus, and it is impossible to get the disease from them. Others have live, but weakened, viruses designed to ensure that you cannot catch the disease.
|7||Young and healthy people can get very sick, too.
Infants and the elderly are at a greater risk for serious infections and complications in many cases, but vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anyone. If you’re young and healthy, getting vaccinated can help you stay that way.
|8||Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive.
An average influenza illness can last up to 15 days, typically with five or six missed work days. Adults who get hepatitis A lose an average of one month of work.
|9||When you get sick, your children, grandchildren and parents are at risk, too.
A vaccine-preventable disease that might make you sick for a week or two could prove deadly for your children, grandchildren, or parents if it spreads to them. When you get vaccinated, you’re protecting yourself and your family. For example, adults are the most common source of pertussis (whooping cough) infection in infants, which can be deadly in infants. In 2010 alone, 25 US infants died from whooping cough.
|10||Your family and coworkers need you.
In the US each year, millions of adults get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases, causing them to miss work and leaving them unable to care for those who depend on them, including their children and/or aging parents.