Health Information Provided by
Health Testing Centers
Date Published: February 28, 2012
Author: Karen Alton, LPN
Healthy Living: Vaccination Resource Guide
Vaccinations protect people from diseases that were dangerous and
fatal just a few decades ago. While many vaccinations are given to children
starting in infancy, a few are given later in life, such as during the
teenage years. Adults who did not receive certain vaccines as children
may want to get themselves vaccinated as a precaution. Some vaccinations
are given to people who are traveling internationally, as the risk for
some diseases is very small in the US. As a few vaccines wear off over
a period of time, it is important that people receive periodic boosters
to keep themselves safe and healthy.
The DTap vaccine protects against three formerly common childhood diseases:
diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, also called whooping cough. It is
recommended for all children in the US. The vaccine is given over the
course of five injections, usually starting at the age of two months
and continuing until the child is between four and six years of age.
Protection does wear off over time, so it is recommended that a booster
shot be given around 11 years of age and then every decade through adulthood.
Hepatitis A and B
Hepatitis generally refers to swelling in the liver. The condition can
be caused by viruses, such as Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B or it can
be caused by damage to the liver from alcohol abuse or medications.
Vaccines are available to protect against both hepatitis A and B. Initially,
hepatitis A vaccinations were given to people who were traveling to
countries where the disease is common. It is now given to almost all
children, starting at least one year of age, as is the vaccine for hepatitis
B. Two or three doses of the vaccine are needed for protection.
Meningitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria or a fungus that infects
the tissues and fluids surrounding the brain and the spinal cord. It
is a very contagious disease in some cases. While meningitis is treatable,
it can be deadly if not caught in time. Vaccinations protect people
against bacterial forms of the disease. The meningitis vaccine is given
to children starting at nine months.
Polio is an incurable disease caused by a virus. It was once a common
childhood illness but is now controlled in first world countries by
a vaccine that is given to children starting at the age of two months.
A total of four doses are needed for the vaccine to be effective. Usually,
the protection offered by the vaccine lasts for life.
Poliomyelitis Symptoms - A list of symptoms caused by polio.
Polio and Prevention - An article discussing the effects of
the disease and ways to prevent it from the Global Polio Eradication
Polio Vaccine - Information on the vaccine and when it should
- Jonas Salk
- Biography of Jonas Salk, the inventor of the vaccine for polio.
The Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine, or Hib, protects against
several diseases caused by the Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. These
diseases include certain types of pneumonia, meningitis, and epiglottitis,
an infection in the throat. The vaccine is given to children starting
at two months of age. Usually, children receive four doses, with the
last dose occurring before age six.
Chickenpox, once a very common childhood disease, is caused by the varicella-zoster
virus. A vaccine is now available to protect children against the disease.
As the disease is particularly dangerous for older children and adults,
those who have not had chickenpox should also get the vaccine. Usually,
the vaccine is recommended for children beginning at one year of age.
- Discusses the symptoms of the disease as well as treatment
- Information from the Illinois Department of Health on chickenpox
and the chickenpox vaccination.
Chickenpox Fact Sheet - Basic fact sheet from the NY Dept. of
Health on the disease and its vaccine.
Measles and Mumps
The MMR vaccine, or measles, mumps, rubella, is usually given to children
between the ages of 12 and 15 months, then again between the ages of
four and six years. The vaccination provides protection for people throughout
the rest of their lives against the three diseases. The MMR vaccine
uses a live form of the viruses to develop a person's immune system
and provide protection against illness. In some cases, the MMR vaccine
is combined with the vaccination for chickenpox.
- Information on mumps, including symptoms, causes and treatments.
Vaccines - Discusses the vaccine for mumps over the years,
as well as its effectiveness and who should receive it.
Measles Cases Rise After Decade of Decline - Article from
the NY Daily News on the rise of measles cases due to fewer vaccinations.
- Overview of measles, including symptoms, treatments and vaccinations.