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Diseases and Vaccines

We have record or near-record low levels of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States, but that does not mean these diseases have disappeared. Many of the viruses and bacteria that cause illness still circulate in this country or are only a plane ride away. That’s why it’s important that children, especially infants and young children, receive recommended immunizations on time.  Vaccines also protect teenagers and adults to keep them healthy throughout their lives.

This section provides information about the diseases you can prevent with vaccines. Each disease has its own page, with three tabs: 

  • “Vaccine Basics” includes information about the vaccine, who should receive it, and how many doses are recommended.
  • “Learn About” includes signs and symptoms of the disease, who is usually affected by it, and how it is spread between people.
  • “Take Action” directs you to resources for getting vaccinated, provides the Vaccine Information Statement (VIS), and connects you to in-depth information available on other federal Web sites.

Last reviewed: March 2011