Continued need for immunizations

Getting immunized is important for at least two reasons: to protect yourself and to protect those around you. A successful vaccination program depends on the cooperation of every person.

Improved sanitation, hygiene, and other living conditions have created a generally healthier environment and reduced the risks for disease exposure and infection in the United States. However, the dramatic and long-term decrease of diseases is primarily a result of widespread immunizations throughout the U.S. population.

Even though some diseases, such as polio, rarely affect people in the U.S., all of the recommended childhood immunizations and booster vaccines are still needed. These diseases still exist in other countries. Travelers can unknowingly bring these diseases into the U.S. and infect people who have not been immunized. Without the protection from immunizations, these diseases could be imported and could quickly spread through the population, causing epidemics. Nonimmunized people living in healthy conditions are not protected from disease; only immunizations prepare the immune system to fight the disease organisms.

Last Updated: February 26, 2010

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