Skip Navigation Links

Why Immunizations Work

 As you prepare your kids for another school year, don’t forget one of the most important factors in keeping your student in the classroom—immunizations.

We’re anticipating another year where whooping cough (pertussis) will be a problem and measles is actually making a comeback. These are two diseases we once thought to be all but eradicated. More than 18,000 Americans contracted whooping cough from January to July — twice the number as in the time period last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Why? Unfortunately, not all parents are getting their children vaccinated. Although few parents deny their children vaccines, there have been a growing number of parents in recent years who declined some or all immunizations. They cite religious grounds or now-debunked claims of a connection between vaccines and autism or other chronic diseases.
The fact is dozens of studies show that vaccines are safe and they're credited with saving millions of lives. 
  • Smallpox once killed nearly 1,000 children per year. It wasn't completely eradicated until 1977 thanks to the smallpox vaccine.
  • Diphtheria cases in 1920 reached nearly 150,000 in the United States, claiming more than 13,000 lives. By 2002, only one case was reported nationwide.
  • Pertussis (whooping cough) sickened more than 107,000 in 1922, with nearly 5,100 deaths. By 2002, only 9,771 cases were reported nationwide.
  • Polio produced more than 16,000 cases of paralytic polio from 1951-54, leading to nearly 1,900 deaths. The wild-type virus form of paralytic polio was eliminated from the Western Hemisphere in 1991, thanks to the vaccine.
  • An average of 450 Americans died from measles each year between 1953 and1963. However, because of vaccines, measles cases have been reduced by more than 99 percent compared with the pre-vaccine era.
 
Vaccination is the best protection against 16 major diseases and among the best school preparation a parent can give a child. However, vaccines can only eliminate disease if almost everyone in a particular community gets them. People who can't be vaccinated—those with cancer, HIV or newborns too young to be fully immunized—must depend on what's called the "herd immunity" provided by those in the communities who are immunized. For those who oppose vaccines and live in the same community, their "herds" tend to be more open to infections taking hold.
 
Current law requires eighth graders to have the tetanus/pertussis vaccine before entering school, and exemptions for personal beliefs have become more difficult to obtain.
And while it’s easy to think of vaccines as an early childhood necessity, the truth is that immunization is just as important for older children and adolescents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following vaccinations for children between the ages of 11 and 19 if they haven’t received the full dosages:
  • Meningococcal disease: Recommended for all teens ages 11 through 18 for protection against this devastating illness. It’s also recommended for all college freshmen living in dorms regardless of age.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV): This series of three vaccines provides immunity against several types of the virus that cause cervical cancer.
  • Pertussis (whooping cough) (Tdap, td): Children ages 11 or 12 need a Tdap booster at this time, and should have another booster every 10 years.
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Varicella: If your child hasn’t had chickenpox and was never vaccinated, a two-dose vaccination is necessary. Teens who only received one dose of the vaccine as a child should get a second dose now, as well.
  • Influenza: This vaccine is important for nearly all ages. Be certain not to get the flu shot too early, or too late as you could miss the benefits of the vaccine during the more critical times of the flu season. Try to get this shot between the middle of October and late November.
  • Pneumococcal disease: Some adolescents with chronic health problems should receive this vaccine. Your pediatrician can guide you as to whether this is recommended for your child.
  • Hepatitis A:  Certain teens are at greater risk and could benefit from this two-dose vaccine.
 
Talk with your doctor or pediatrician about any concerns or questions about the risks and benefits of immunization. Vaccination is the best protection against many major diseases and is possibly the best school preparation a parent can give a child. 
Search by Name:
Search by Specialty:

Physician Highlight

Scott M. Abraham, MD

ORTHOPEDIC
SURGERY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Courtney A. Angell, MD

OBSTETRICS &
GYNECOLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Norman I. Bamber, MD

NEUROSURGERY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Ashutosh V. Bapat, MD

CARDIOLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Rene P. Bollier, MD

FAMILY PRACTICE

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Aruna Bollineni, MD

NEUROLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Pierre Castera, MD

COLON/RECTAL
SURGERY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Richard Charette, MD

PEDIATRICS

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Charles F. Cockerell, MD

PEDIATRICS

Learn more

Physician Highlight

John C. Ellis, MD

OTORHINOLARYNGOLOG

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Rick D. Espe, MD

PEDIATRICS

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Larry J. Geier, MD

ONCOLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Bryan C. Hughes, MD

FAMILY PRACTICE

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Kristin E. Humphreys, MD

INTERNAL MEDICINE

Learn more

Physician Highlight

James E. Johnson, DO

PAIN MANAGEMENT

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Michael J. Liston, MD,
FACC

CARDIOLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Alfonso J. Martinez, MD

PULMONOLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Marco S. Mazzella, MD,
FACC

CARDIOLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Michele C. McIntosh, MD

PEDIATRICS

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Richard James
McKittrick, MD

HEMATOLOGY/ONCOLOG

Learn more

Physician Highlight

M. Brook Redd, MD

GENERAL &
LAPAROSCOPIC
SURGERY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Subramanian Sivarajan,
MD

NEPHROLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Robert T. Stein, MD

PEDIATRICS

Learn more

Physician Highlight

John A. Thesing, MD

GASTROENTEROLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Russell J. Thornton, DO

FAMILY PRACTICE

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Gregory R. VanDenBerghe,
MD

ORTHOPEDIC
SURGERY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Anna S. Wagner, DO

FAMILY PRACTICE

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Donald Chris Walker, MD

RADIOLOGY

Learn more

Physician Highlight

Mark S. Walton, MD

OTORHINOLARYNGOLOG

Learn more

Voice of the Patient

  • I admired the professionalism of the staff. They are a credit to the hospital.
  • It was thanks to the staff that I found value in Cardiac Rehab.
  • The most helpful part of the program was the quality care provided by the five nurses. You have a great staff!
  • The entire program was excellent. The classes were great and the nursing staff was very knowledgeable.
  • Rehab was excellent; it was vital to my full recovery and restored health.
  • Thank you for your support and for guiding me through this difficult time. Words cannot express my gratitude for all you have done.
  • I was overwhelmed with your kindness and caring.
  • Thank you for your extraordinary kindness, guidance and support.
  • You all are my angels.
  • Thank you for your support in a time when I was freaking out.
  • The Breast Center put the care in health care.
  • My father’s caregiver was always polite and courteous. We would just like to thank your staff and would highly recommend your services.
  • My caregiver showed up even when hospice said the roads were too bad!
  • Services were available when I needed help. The people were very helpful and kind so I could relax and concentrate on getting well. Thank you!
  • The care given to my parents was fantastic. My mom loved her caregiver and all the staff that called on her. Thank you.
  • I felt the caregivers really cared about my mother, and if they saw something I needed to be aware of they called me.
  • Your staff is great, very prompt and I would recommend Carondelet Care Resources to anyone.
  • I appreciated the personal attention and care given to my mother. She was cared for and treated with respect. Thanks so much for everything!
  • Every single caregiver was excellent!
  • My caregiver is always very polite. I think your services are excellent.
  • I couldn’t have asked for better treatment.
  • The two wonderful health care providers that came to my house gave excellent care.
  • The home health agency made my recovery smooth. The nurses and therapists were wonderful.
  • The nurse we had was great. I thought your agency was first class. 
  • I am very pleased with the nurse that comes to take care of my husband. She has been a big help and answered all my questions.
  • My home health nurse was very kind and efficient. She was a tremendous help and one of the best nurses I’ve encountered.
  • I was especially pleased with the services I received from my nurse. She is a top professional in her field.
  • I have been very pleased with the care and help provided by the home health care. Thank you for all you have done.
  • I have received home health care from several different agencies over the years and Carondelet is by far the BEST!
  • My home health professionals did all they could to help me return to my normal knee function. They did their jobs well!
  • I was very pleased with my therapy. The therapists were very knowledgeable about my recovery requirements.
  • I was very happy with the service I received and I would use them again for sure. I rate them very high.
  • Very helpful, very professional and always interested in me as an individual. I would highly recommend them to all my friends.
  • My nurse was wonderful and I felt like she really cared about me.
  • Your staff is very welcoming and if I have to have another procedure done, I plan on going to St. Joseph.
  • I found I got excellent care at St. Joseph. I had a very good experience there and I highly recommend it.
  • I was really impressed with the people in the Cath Lab area. I have been lots of places and St. Mary’s rates #1 in my book.