Today, in the United States, children typically get:
- 36 doses of 10 vaccines (HepB, DTaP, Hib, Prevnar, IPV, Rota, MMR, Varivax, HepA, Flu) before starting kindergarten that protect them against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases
- at least three or four more vaccines as a preteen and teen, including a Tdap booster and vaccines to protect against HPV and meningococcal disease, plus they continue to get a yearly flu vaccine
So by age 18, that equals about 57 dosages of 14 different vaccines to protect them against 16 different vaccine-preventable diseases.
While that sounds like a lot, keep in mind that 33% of those immunizations are just from your child’s yearly flu vaccine.
Of course, kids in the United States don’t get all available vaccines and aren’t protected against all possible vaccine preventable diseases. Some vaccines are just given if traveling to a high risk area or in other special situations.
Vaccine-preventable diseases (in the United States, children and teens are routinely protected against the diseases highlighted in bold) include:
- adenovirus – a military vaccine
- anthrax – vaccine only given if high risk
- chicken pox – (Varivax, MMRV)
- cholera – vaccine only given if high risk
- dengue – vaccine not available in the United States
- diphtheria – (DTaP/Tdap)
- hepatitis A – (HepA)
- hepatitis B – (HepB)
- hepatitis E – vaccine not available in the United States
- HPV – (Gardasil)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b – (Hib)
- measles – (MMR, MMRV)
- meningococcal disease – (MCV4 and MenB and MenC)
- pneumococcal disease – (Prevnar13 and PneumoVax23)
- pertussis – (DTaP/Tdap)
- polio – (bOPV and IPV)
- Q-fever – vaccine not available in the United States
- rabies – vaccine only given if high risk
- rotavirus – (RV1, RV5)
- rubella – (MMR, MMRV)
- shingles – vaccine only given to seniors
- smallpox – eradicated
- tetanus – (DTaP/Tdap)
- tick-borne encephalitis – vaccine not available in the United States
- tuberculosis – (BCG) – vaccine only given if high risk
- typhoid fever – vaccine only given if high risk
- yellow fever – vaccine only given if high risk
Discontinued vaccines also once protected people against Rocky mountain spotted fever, plague, and typhus.
These vaccine-preventable diseases can be contrasted with infectious diseases for which no vaccines yet exist, like RSV, malaria, norovirus, and HIV, etc., although vaccines are in the pipeline for many of these diseases.
What To Know About Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Available vaccines are helping to eliminate or control a number of vaccine-preventable diseases, like polio, measles, and diphtheria, but a lot of work is left to be done.