Polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, smallpox, measles. Before vaccinations were developed and became widely used in the last century, these and other diseases killed thousands of infants, children, and adults. Today, thanks to routine vaccination, smallpox is completely eliminated worldwide. Other diseases like influenza and whooping cough continue to sicken many kids every year in the United States. Vaccinating our children and ourselves is the best way to protect them and to keep our communities healthy.
Vaccinations can help
- Your kids avoid getting vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Diseases like influenza, whooping cough, and measles spread easily. Kids are at increased risk of getting very sick if they catch these diseases, and vaccines can keep them healthy and safe. Some of the vaccines even do double duty. For example, the pneumococcal vaccine protects against serious diseases like meningitis, and can also reduce rates of pneumonia and ear infections.
- Protect people who can’t protect themselves.
Newborn babies, elderly adults, and people with certain medical conditions are unable to get some vaccinations themselves. By making sure your child is fully vaccinated, you keep your child healthy and lower the risk of other people getting sick as well.
- Keep diseases under control.
The United States has very low rates of many vaccine-preventable diseases now, thanks to widespread vaccination use for many years. Keeping vaccination use high will keep vaccine-preventable disease rates low.
- Get your kids ready for school.
Washington state law requires children to be immunized against certain vaccine-preventable diseases before attending a licensed child care center or school. The best way to avoid a last-minute rush before school starts is to be sure your child receives all the recommended vaccines right on schedule.
Check out our well-child schedule
Our Well-Child Visits and Immunizations schedule provides a handy list of the immunizations, well-care visits, and screenings most children need from birth through adolescence. Talk to your doctor about your child’s individual vaccination needs.
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