Childhood Immunizations Facts

Plain Talk About Childhood Immunizations (PDF)

  • Children should have 80 percent of their immunizations by age two.
  • Infants are often more vulnerable to disease than older children and adults, and often the diseases are more serious in infants than in older children.
  • Many diseases that can be prevented have no cure or treatment.
  • A disease may not currently be present in a community, but disease outbreaks can and do occur when populations are not protected. With frequent international travel, diseases from other parts of the world are literally only a plane ride away.
  • Immunizations save money. Diseases that can be prevented cost 16 times more in medical-related expenses than the vaccine that prevents the disease. The nationwide 1989-1991 measles outbreak caused 44,000 days of hospitalization resulting in $100 million in direct medical costs. This does not include direct costs to families, such as lost days of work, school, and child care.

The following 15 serious childhood diseases are preventable and vaccines against these are recommended for children 0-6 years of age:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Pneumococcal
  • Polio
  • Influenza
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Meningococcal