Facts for Parents
In the United States, vaccines have reduced or eliminated many infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed thousands of infants and young children each year. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and can be passed on to people who are not immunized. Vaccine-preventable diseases have many social and economic costs. These diseases result in doctor visits, hospitalizations, and even death. Sick children miss school and can cause parents to lose time from work.
To schedule an appointment for immunizations for your child, call us at 419-354-5556.
Diseases that can be prevented with vaccines:
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Rubella (German Measles)
This serious disease is caused by bacteria that produce a toxin. Diphtheria can cause blockage of the airway, making it impossible to breathe. It can also cause heart problems, paralysis of the muscles needed for swallowing, and sometimes death.
Vaccinate with DTaP (a combination vaccine that includes diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-18 months, 4-6 years, and 11-12 years.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria cause meningitis, infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Hib can also cause pneumonia (lung infection) and infection of the blood, joints, bones, throat, and heart covering. The disease is very serious for children younger than age 5, especially infants. Before vaccines were available, about 3%–8% of Hib meningitis cases were fatal and, of those children who survived, 15%–30% suffered severe nerve damage. Vaccinate with Hib at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months.
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. Symptoms include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Hepatitis A virus is spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the virus from the stool. This type of transmission is called “fecal-oral.” For this reason, the virus is more easily spread in areas where there are poor sanitary conditions, or where good personal hygiene is not observed. Vaccinate with hepatitis A between 12 and 23 months.
Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. It spreads through contact with blood or other body fluids due to sharing of personal items, such as toothbrushes or eating utensils. Hepatitis B causes a flu-like illness with loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, rashes, joint pain, and jaundice. The virus stays in the liver of some people for the rest of their lives and can result in severe liver diseases or cancer. Vaccinate with hepatitis B at birth, 1-2 months, and 6-18 months.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human papillomavirus is a common virus. HPV is most common in people in their teens and early 20s. It is the major cause of cervical cancer in women and genital warts in women and men.
Vaccinate your pre-teen girl with three doses of HPV beginning at ages 11-12. Pre-teen boys may also be vaccinated at this time.
Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. It is one of the most severe illnesses of the winter season and spreads easily when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Influenza may lead to hospitalization or even death. Typical symptoms include a sudden high fever, chills, a dry cough, headache, runny nose, sore throat, and muscle and joint pain. Extreme fatigue can last from several days to weeks. Vaccinate with influenza annually after 6 months of age.
The measles virus is spread very easily. Just being in the same room with a person with measles is enough to catch the disease. Symptoms usually include a rash, fever, cough, and watery eyes. Measles can also cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, or death. Of every 1,000 children who get measles, 1 or 2 will die from the disease.
Vaccinate with MMR (a combination vaccine that includes measles, mumps, and rubella) at 12-15 months and 4-6 years.
Caused by a type of bacteria, meningococcal disease is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) in children. Meningococcal disease also causes blood infections, which can be treated with antibiotics; still, about one of every ten people who get the disease dies from it. Survivors may lose their arms or legs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous systems, become developmentally disabled, or suffer seizures or strokes.
Vaccinate with meningococcal disease at 11-12 years.
The mumps virus causes fever, headaches, and swollen salivary glands under the jaw. Children who get mumps may develop meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) and sometimes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Mumps can also result in permanent hearing loss. Vaccinate with MMR (a combination vaccine that includes measles, mumps, and rubella) at 12-15 months and 4-6 years.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Pertussis is caused by bacteria. It can cause spells of violent coughing and choking, making it hard to breathe, drink, or eat. The cough can last for weeks. Pertussis is most serious for babies, who can get pneumonia, have seizures, become brain damaged, or even die. About two-thirds of children under 1 year of age who get pertussis must be hospitalized. Vaccinate with DTaP (a combination vaccine that includes diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-18 months, 4-6 years, and 11-12 years.
Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection that invades the lungs, causing the most common kind of bacterial pneumonia. The bacteria can invade both the bloodstream (bacteremia) and the brain (meningitis). Symptoms include high fever, cough with chest pain and mucus, shaking chills, breathlessness, and chest pain that increases with breathing. Pneumococcal disease can result in hospitalization and even death.
Vaccinate with pneumococcal at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months.
Polio is caused by a virus that is spread by contact with the feces (human waste) of an infected person. Symptoms can include sudden fever, sore throat, headache, muscle weakness, and pain. Polio can cause paralysis and even death. Vaccinate with polio at 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and 4-6 years.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among children, resulting in the hospitalization of approximately 55,000 children each year in the United States. The disease is characterized by vomiting and watery diarrhea for 3-8 days, and fever and abdominal pain occur frequently.
Vaccinate with rotavirus at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months.
Rubella (German Measles)
The rubella virus usually causes a mild sickness with fever, swollen glands, and a rash that lasts about 3 days. If a pregnant woman is infected, the result to the baby can be devastating, including miscarriage, serious heart defects, and loss of hearing and eye sight. Vaccinate with MMR (a combination vaccine that includes measles, mumps, and rubella) at 12-15 months and 4-6 years.
Tetanus is caused by a toxin produced by bacteria found in soil that enters the body through a cut or wound. Tetanus causes serious, painful spasms and stiffness of all muscles in the body and can lead to “locking” of the jaw so a person cannot open his or her mouth, swallow, or breathe. Three of ten people who get tetanus die from the disease. Vaccinate with DTaP (a combination vaccine that includes diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-18 months, 4-6 years, and 11-12 years.
The varicella virus usually causes a rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. It can sometimes lead to severe skin infections, pneumonia, brain infection, or death. Complications occur most often in very young children or those with damaged immune systems.
Vaccinate with varicella at 12-15 months and 4-6 years.
This information can also be found on
the CDC website at: