Logo for: Pediatric Associates of Connecticut

Why Immunize?

Disease What It Does Why Immunize?
Polio Virus that causes acute paralysis and death. Prior to immunization, there were 13-20,000 cases annually; in 2000 there were none in US, but still
active in > 12 countries worldwide.
Measles Viral syndrome that can cause complications (including encephalitis with brain damage) in almost 10% of
those infected.
Cases are now very rare in the U.S. but still occur worldwide. If vaccination was suspended 2. 7 million
deaths would be expected worldwide.
Haemophilus lnfluenzae Type b (HIB) Prior to immunization, the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, and epiglottitis. Prior to HIB vaccines, 600 pediatric deaths per year. Recent outbreak with deaths in Midwest, &
occurs worldwide.
Pertussis Also known as Whooping Cough, this illness can lead to pneumonia, seizures and death particularly in
young infants under age one year.
Currently a resurgence; prior to immunization, 250,000 cases per year, 9000 deaths. 9 recent deaths in
CA in unimmunized infants.
Rubella (German measles) Mild viral disease in children, but in pregnant women, leads to heart defects, mental retardation,
Before vaccination there were 20,000 babies born annually with birth defects.
Varicella (Chicken Pox) Highly contagious viral illness. Can lead to complications such as pneumonia, bacterial skin infections,
dehydration as well as significant school/ work absence.
Prior to immunization there were 11,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths annually in the U.S. secondary
to bacterial complications.
Hepatitis B Liver infection with risk of liver failure or cancer. Up to 25% of children who are infected may die from the infection.
Diphtheria Severe throat infection which produces a toxin that causes heart and nerve problems. Death rate after infection was 20% of cases prior to immunization. Not seen in U.S., still occurs
Tetanus Severe, often fatal disease leading to spasm and stiffness of the jaw and muscles. 30% of infections cause death. Worldwide there are still >100,000 deaths from lack of immunization.
Mumps Viral infection in the salivary glands; can cause deafness, swelling of the brain, nerves and spinal
cord, and sterility in males.
Before immunization there were 200,000 cases annually, now reduced to about 300.
Pneumococcus Leading cause of blood infection, bacterial meningitis, pneumonia and ear infections. Prior to vaccine, 6,100 annual deaths in US.
Rotavirus Vomiting and watery diarrhea, often lasting 3-8 days or longer; may require hospitalization for
Globally, still 527,000 deaths per year. Prior to vaccine, 20-60 deaths in US per year; >600,000
visits per year.