Vaccine-preventable diseases have not gone away The viruses and bacteria that cause infectious diseases and deaths still exist and can be passed on to those who are not protected by vaccines. Teens who were vaccinated in early childhood, but whose immunity has waned, are common transmitters of the pertussis infection to infants. In recent years, the US has experienced the greatest number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases since 1959.
Vaccines will help keep you healthy The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinations from birth to adulthood to provide a lifetime of protection against many diseases and infections, such as meningitis, whooping cough, influenza, HPV (a virus that causes cancer), measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis A and B. Yet many teens are not vaccinated as recommended, leaving them needlessly vulnerable to disease, suffering, and death.
Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise Like eating healthy foods, being active, and getting regular check-ups, vaccines play a vital role in keeping all of us healthy, including pre-teens and teens. Vaccines are one of the safest and most convenient preventive care measures available.
Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death Vaccine-preventable infections can be deadly. For example, meningococcal infection can spread quickly, killing an otherwise healthy teen in 48 hours.
Vaccines are safe Vaccines are among the safest medical products available and can prevent suffering and costs associated with infectious diseases. Potential side effects associated with vaccines are uncommon and much less severe than the diseases they prevent.
Vaccines will not cause the disease they are designed to prevent Vaccines contain either killed or weakened viruses, making it impossible to get the disease from the vaccine.
Young and healthy people can get very sick, too. Infants and older adults are usually at greater risk for serious infections and complications, but vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anyone, including healthy teens.
Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive Diseases not only have a direct impact on individuals and their families, but also carry a high price tag for society as a whole, exceeding $10 billion per year. An average flu illness can last up to 15 days, typically with five or six missed school days.
When teens get sick, those around them, including friends, babies, adults, and grandparents can get sick, too In general, vaccine-preventable diseases are more serious for the very young and the very old. By getting vaccinated, you are protecting yourself as well as your family and friends.
Everyone deserves the chance to stay healthy Getting all teen vaccines is a great start for a healthy adulthood. Since vaccines are a safe and easy way to prevent disease, why not take full advantage of them?
Talk to a healthcare professional about recommended vaccines specifically for teens
Reviewed March 2021
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention