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Preventable Diseases FAQ

Q1. I'm very concerned about vaccinating my child. Are there any safe and effective alternatives to vaccination?

Answer: Vaccine has been proven, over decades, to be one of the safest and most powerful disease prevention tools available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration are not aware of any alternative methods to safely and effectively prevent these serious diseases long term. Some individuals and groups propose that "natural" substances that "boost" a child's immune system is an alternative to vaccination. However, many people with healthy immune systems have died from diseases that could have been prevented with vaccination. (CDC, 1997).

Q2. What diseases do vaccines prevent?

Answer: The routine and recommended vaccines protect against Measles, Mumps, Polio, Rubella (German Measles), Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Meningitis: Haemophilus Influenza type b (Hib disease), Hepatitis B, and Varicella (Chickenpox). There are also specialized vaccines recommended for certain groups, for example, Hepatitis A, rabies, or yellow fever vaccine. Many of the diseases these vaccines prevent can kill children, or cause permanent harm. In the days before vaccines, it was very common for children to die of childhood diseases. If people stop vaccinating their children, this will happen again.

Q3. How many shots does my child need?

Answer: See the New York State Department of Health's recommended vaccination schedule for children up to age 12.

Q4. Where can I get more information?


You can call your friendly public health staff at Sullivan County Public Health at (845) 292-5910, and press6.  Also, the National Immunization Information Hotline # is  1-800-232-2522 (English) or at 1-800-232-0233 (Spanish). Or visit