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Fact Sheet on Vaccine - Preventable Childhood Diseases

Fact Sheet:


  • easily spread through coughing or sneezing
  • early symptoms are sore throat, slight fever and chills
  • can interfere with swallowing and cause suffocation
  • can cause heart failure or paralysis if allowed to go untreated
  • can be prevented with DTP vaccine


  • also known as Lockjaw
  • enters the body through a wound
  • produces a poison which affects the body's nervous system
  • symptoms are headache, irritability, stiffness in jaw and neck
  • causes muscle spasms in the jaw, neck, arms, legs and abdomen
  • may require intensive hospital care
  • three out of every 10 people in the U.S. who get tetanus die
  • can be prevented with DTP vaccine


  • also known as whooping cough
  • highly contagious
  • causes severe spells of coughing which can interfere with eating, drinking and breathing
  • complications may include pneumonia, convulsions or encephalitis
  • in the U.S., about 65% of reported cases occur in children under 5, and half of those are infants less than one year old
  • in recent years, an average of 3,500 cases reported in the U.S.
  • can be prevented with DTP vaccine


  • serious cases cause paralysis and death
  • mild cases cause fever, sore throat, nausea, headaches, stomachaches; stiffness in the neck, back and legs also occurs
  • can be prevented with the oral polio vaccine


  • highly contagious
  • causes a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes, lasting for one to two weeks
  • causes ear infections and pneumonia in one out of every 20 children who get it
  • causes encephalitis that can lead to convulsions, deafness or mental retardation in one out of every 1,000 children who get it
  • of every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die
  • MMR vaccine prevents this disease


  • causes fever, headache, and inflammation of the salivary glands, resulting in swelling of cheeks or jaw
  • one out of every 10 who get mumps may develop meningitis; sometimes causes encephalitis
  • can result in permanent loss of hearing
  • MMR vaccine prevents this disease


  • also known as german measles
  • most serious in pregnant woman, there is an 80% chance that it will cause defects in the unborn child if infection occurs in pregnancy
  • symptoms include mild discomfort, slight fever for 24 hours, and a rash on the face and neck lasting for two or three days
  • MMR vaccine prevents this disease

haemophilus infiuenzae type b 

  • also known as Hib disease
  • strikes one child out of 200 before the fifth birthday
  • more serious in infants under one year of age
  • causes pneumonia and infections of the blood, joints, bones, soft tissues, throat and the covering of the heart
  • causes meningitis in about 12,000 children per year; about one in four suffer permanent brain damage; and about one in 20 dies
  • Hib vaccine prevents this disease

hepatitis B 

  • infants born to infected mothers have up to an 85% chance of getting the infection
  • HBV infection is spread within families and communities
  • infection at birth or during early childhood can result in long-term chronic illness
  • chronically infected persons can develop chronic liver disease and a rare form of cancer
  • HBV vaccine prevents this disease