Why Vaccines are Important for You
In the U.S., vaccines have greatly reduced or eliminated many infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines.
Every year thousands of adults in the U.S. still suffer serious illness, are hospitalized, and even die due to disease for which vaccines are available.
Even if you were fully vaccinated as a child, the protection from some vaccines you received can wear off. You may also be at risk for other disease due to your job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. Find out what vaccines you may need based on different risk factors.Top of Page
Vaccines are very safe
- Vaccines are tested and monitored. Vaccines go through years of testing before being licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both the CDC and FDA continue to monitor vaccines for safety after they are licensed.
- Vaccine side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days. The most common side effects include soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given. Severe side effects are very rare.
- Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect your health. However, if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system talk with your doctor before being vaccinated, as some vaccines may not be recommended for you.
Vaccines can lower your chance of getting certain diseases. Vaccines work with the body's natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease and lower your chances of getting certain diseases and suffering from their complications. For instance:
- Hepatitis B vaccine can also lower your risk of liver cancer.
- HPV vaccine lowers your risk of cervical cancer.
- Flu vaccine lowers your risk of influenza-related heart attacks or other flu related complications from existing health conditions like diabetes and chronic lung disease.
Vaccines lower your chance of spreading disease.
- Some people in your family or community may not be able to get certain vaccines due to their age or health condition so they rely on you to help prevent the spread of disease.
- Infant, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems (like those undergoing cancer treatment) are especially vulnerable to infectious disease. For example, newborns are too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough but it can be very dangerous or even deadly for them. That is why women should get Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy to pass on protection from whooping cough and anyone in contact with young babies should make sure they are up-to-date on Tdap vaccination as well.
You have a busy life and too much responsibility to risk getting sick. Vaccines can help you stay healthy so you don't miss work and you have time for your family, friends and hobbies.
Getting your recommended vaccines can give you the peace of mind that you have the best possible protection available against a number of serious diseases.Top of Page
- Page last reviewed: May 2, 2016
- Page last updated: May 2, 2016
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