Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Vaccination is one of the greatest public health achievements
of the 20th century. Most vaccine preventable diseases are at
record lows in the United States, but that does not mean these diseases have disappeared. Many of the viruses and bacteria are still circulating or are only an international flight away.

In 2002, the United States had 9,771 cases of Pertussis, this was the highest number of cases since 1964. Many of these vaccine preventable disease, could begin to rise if we do not continue to immunize. It is important that children and adults receive recommended immunizations on time!

The table below shows the dramatic reduction in disease that vaccines have made.

Disease Max. cases reported Year max. reported Reported cases
% decrease
Smallpox 48,164* 1900-1904 0 100%
Diphtheria 175,885 1921 1 100%
Pertussis 147,271 1934 7,867 94.7%
Tetanus (lockjaw) 1,314 1948 35 97.3%
Polio (wild virus) 16,316 1952 0 100%
Measles 503,282 1941 86 100%
Mumps 152,209 1968 338 99.8%
Rubella 47,745 1969 176 99.6%
Congenital Rubella Syndrome 823 1964-65 9 98.9%
H. influenzae type b and unknown(<5yrs) 20,000** 1984 112 99.4%
Hepatitis B 26,654 1985 8,036 69.9%

*Average annual number of cases during 1900-1904.
**Estimated number of cases from population-based surveillance studies before vaccine licensure in 1985.

1. MMWR, January 5, 2001; 49 (51 & 52).
2. "Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Impact of Vaccines Universally Recommended for Children-United States, 1900-1998." MMWR, April 2, 1999; vol. 48, no.12.

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