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Fact Sheet - Immunization

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  • It is recommended that children in the U.S. receive vaccinations against 11 diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, Hib meningitis, varicella, and most recently, pneumococcal disease.
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the overall national immunization rate for preschool children was 80% in 1999, a dramatic increase from 55% in 1992.
  • Polio caused by wild polio virus has been eradicated from the Western Hemisphere.
  • Childhood vaccination levels in the U.S. are at an all-time high; and disease and death from diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and Haemophilus influenzae type b are at or near record lows.
  • At the beginning of the 20th century, 5 vaccines had been developed; in this century, 21 diseases have been added to the list of those that are preventable by vaccine.
  • Vaccine preventable disease levels have been reduced by over 99% since the introduction of vaccines.
 Full Text [Fact #8025]
  • Immunization is one of the most cost effective medical interventions available.
  • Some parents worry that it is not safe to give several vaccine shots at once, or that they may not work as well, or that they will overload the child’s immune system. But studies have shown these fears to be unfounded. Vaccinations are just as safe and just as effective when given together as they are when given separately. The immune system is exposed to many foreign substances every day, and will not be overburdened by vaccines.
  • Vaccines are given at an early age because the diseases they prevent can strike at an early age. Some diseases are far more serious or common among infants or young children.


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