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The 16 vaccine-preventable diseases

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:20am 1 Comment

I am one of those mom's who believe's in getting every vaccine known to man so that my child won't suffer....however, my daughter Erika, recently pointed out as she was getting her last HPV shot, that she is SUFFERING NOW! (she hates shots) But I worry that later in life she might catch something and because I failed to ignore her cries and not protect her through vaccinations that she will suffer even a worse fate. I subscribe to Dr. Sears news letter and below is a list of the 12 routine childhood vaccines and I thought that I would share them with you.


The 12 routine childhood vaccines are designed to prevent, or decrease the risk of, 16 diseases. Some diseases are more common than others. Some are more serious than others. Certain diseases are more or less serious or common depending on a child’s age. Understanding these illnesses is in
important step in making an educated decision regarding your child’s vaccines.

The Vaccine Book provides a detailed look at each disease and covers the following information:
  • What each disease is and how it is transmitted
  • How common, or rare, it is
  • How serious, or mild, it is
  • How it is prevented
  • Whether or not it is treatable and what the expected treatment course would be
  • How each disease affects children and adults differently at various ages
  • Which diseases are most common and severe for infants
  • Which ones are most severe for older children
  • How to boost your child’s immune system to help prevent these diseases

Here is a very brief look at each of the vaccine-preventable diseases:

Haemophilus Influenza type B

This bacteria causes meningitis and bloodstream infections. It used to be extremely common, but is now very rare. Most cases are in infants or the elderly. It can be fatal.

Pneumococcal Disease

This bacteria causes meningitis, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia. It is still fairly common. Most cases are in infants or the elderly. It can be fatal.


This bacteria causes a severe throat and upper lung infection. It can be fatal. It has been virtually eradicated from the U.S.


This bacteria causes weakness and paralysis when allowed to fester in a deep, dirty wound. It is fairly rare and occurs mainly in adults. It can be fatal.

Pertussis (whooping cough)

This bacteria causes severe coughing fits. Fatalities do occur, mainly in young infants. It is still a very common illness in the U.S.

Hepatitis B

This virus causes severe liver damage. It is a sexually transmitted disease, or contracted through other means of blood exposure. It is fairly common in adults, but very rare in infants and children. It can be fatal.


This virus causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration in infants. It is extremely common and can be fatal.


This virus causes muscle weakness and paralysis. It can be fatal. It has been eradicated from the U.S. and entire western hemisphere.


This virus causes fever and rash. It can damage internal organs but is rarely fatal. It is now fairly rare in the U.S.


This virus causes fever and rash. It can damage internal organs but is rarely fatal. It is now fairly rare in the U.S., although a recent epidemic did sweep through the Midwest.


This virus causes fever and rash. It is now extremely rare in the U.S. It can cause birth defects if a pregnant mom is exposed


This virus causes fever and rash. It is still very common, but fatalities are very rare.

Hepatitis A

This virus causes a severe intestinal “flu” and mild liver damage in adults. It is very mild in young children, however. It is fairly common, but virtually never fatal.


This virus causes the classic “flu”. It is extremely common and causes come fatalities in infants and elderly.

Meningococcal Disease

This bacteria causes severe bloodstream infections and meningitis. It isn’t very common, but has a high fatality rate when it does strike.

Human Papillomavirus

This virus causes genital warts and cervical cancer. It is extremely common and is passed through sexual contact.

For a more detailed discussion on these vaccine-preventable diseases, seeThe Vaccine Book.
Comments (1)
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I am rare as a practicing physician that actually reads medical journals.   And when it comes to vaccines, the hyperbole on both sides of the argument seems to drown out the actual facts.  Over the years, I have become frustrated with people who have a bias and then only seek out evidence to support their preconceived notions and/or agendas.    I have no use for this type of biased and intellectually dishonest article.

I believe that an honest objective look at all the facts is the best way to make vaccine decisions.  The reality is that much of the “scientific” literature is contradictory and often confusing to the lay reader.  It takes someone devoted to researching and reviewing the mountains data and then giving a concise and unbiased detail of the facts.  This too is difficult as most of the information released to the public is sourced from the very individuals or companies that stand to gain the most money from the sale of the vaccine.  Even most of the governmental (CDC, FDA) information on the subject is supplied by or sourced to manufacturer data and research.  And if you think that billion dollar profits don’t create significant bias, you probably think all politicians are honest too.

This subject is far too complex to explain everything here; however, I will give a few brief facts. 

ALL VACCINES have inherent documented risk.  While some correlation of benefits is documented for all vaccines, the data cannot and does not demonstrate with ANY certainty that they cure or prevent a single disease.  Maybe they do, maybe they don’t, and the decades of data are inconclusive. There may be geographic locals and certain circumstances were certain vaccines MAY provide more benefit than the inherent RISK in ALL vaccines.  In many groups, the risk simply outweighs even the perceived benefit.  For this reason, many countries have made certain vaccines illegal.  Other vaccines remain in use as the immediate risk is less frequent or severe.   

There are simply too variables that explain the decline of disease to blankly attribute a cure to vaccines without any proof.   Even the common use of water and sewer treatment facilities demonstrates a more plausible decrease in disease than dose any vaccine.  And until such proof exists, vaccines must be viewed as experimental in nature.

Ultimately, the decision must rest with each individual and parent.  I advise everyone to get informed and don’t just accept someone’s opinion (even your doctor’s), know it for yourself.

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