Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Chickenpox (Varicella)


Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease. It can cause an itchy, blister-like rash, and fever. It can also cause severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, and death. Chickenpox can be life-threatening, especially with people with weakened immune system and pregnant women.





Diphtheria causes a thick coating in the back of the nose or throat, making it hard to breath or swallow.


  • Blocking of the airway
  • Damage to the heart muscles (myocarditis)
  • Nerve damage (polyneuropathy)
  • Loss of the ability to move (paralysis)
  • Lung infection (respiratory failure or pneumonia)





Tetanus is a serious disease caused by a toxin (poison) made by a bacteria. It causes painful muscle stiffness and can be deadly. It can cause breathing problems, muscle spasms, and paralysis (unable to move parts of the body). Muscle spasms can be strong enough to break a child’s spine or other bones.





Pertussis can cause infants to suffer seizures, encephalopathy, pneumonia, ear infections, loss of appetite, and dehydration. Infants who get pertussis often get it from an adult who has pertussis.



Hepatitis A


Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease. Children under 6 years old often have no symptoms but they often pass the disease to others. Older children and adults may feel very sick and weak. It can cause jaundice (yellowing of the eyes), severe stomach pains, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.



Hepatitis B


Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluids from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth.



Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)


Haemophilus influenzae is a bacterium that can cause a variety of serious diseases, including sepsis (bloodstream infection), meningitis (inflammation of the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia, and epiglottis (inflammation of and swelling of the cartilage that covers the windpipe).



Human Papillomavirus (HPV)


HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. It can lead to cancers that affect both men and women including cervical cancer, vaginal and vulvar cancer, anal cancer, oral cancer and penile cancer. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and people infected with the virus never knew they had it.



Flu (Influenza)


The flu is a respiratory disease caused by a virus that attacks the nose, throat, and lungs. Illness is usually mild or moderate, not requiring hospitalization. However, at times flu can be severe, even leading to death. It is not the same as the "stomach flu."





Measles is a serious respiratory disease that causes rash and fever. It is very contagious and can be dangerous for infants and younger children. In some cases, measles can lead to pneumonia (lung infection), ear infection, lifelong brain damage, or even death.





Symptoms of mumps include loss of appetite, low-grade fever and swelling of the salivary glands below the ear. Mumps can also lead to deafness, brain or spinal cord infection, and painful swelling of testicles (for males).



Rubella (German Measles)


Rubella rash begins on the face and neck and spreads rapidly to the trunk and extremities. The infection causes children to experience fevers. An unvaccinated child can spread rubella to a pregnant woman. If a pregnant woman gets infected, she can have a miscarriage, or her unborn baby may develop birth defects such as heart defects, intellectual disability, and liver or spleen damage.





Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease. Poliovirus can cause:

  • Paresthesia (feeling of pins and needles in the legs)
  • Meningitis (infection of the covering of the spinal cord and/or brain)
  • Paralysis (can’t move parts of the body) or weakness
  • Permanent disability or death





Symptoms of meningococcal disease can first appear as a flu-like illness and rapidly worsen. Meningococcal disease can lead to meningitis (infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia).





Pneumococcal disease is common in young children. It can cause many types of illness, including sinus and ear infections, pneumonia (lung infection), blood infection, and meningitis.