Vaccines are necessary for a family’s health and protection from serious diseases. Certain diseases like smallpox and polio are no longer common due to the effectiveness of the vaccination process. Not counting the flu shot, there are many vaccines available that are important for the ongoing health of you and your family.

Diphtheria
Diphtheria is a bacterial respiratory disease that can cause trouble breathing, paralysis, coma, and death. This disease is spread through the air. Vaccination is available in combination vaccines such as DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td.

Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a series of viruses that attack the liver and can cause permanent damage and lead to other diseases, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. The virus is spread through contact with feces or body fluids. Vaccines are available for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

Haemophilus influenzae type b
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a bacteria that causes many different illnesses, including meningitis, pneumonia, and epiglottitis. Hib is spread through direct contact or through the air.

Human Papillomavirus
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause up to 40 different types of genital diseases, including cervical cancer. HPV is spread through sexual contact.

Measles
Measles is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, and rash. It can cause complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis, as well as death. Measles is spread through the air. Vaccinations against measles are available in the combination form MMR.

Meningococcal
Meningococcal bacteria causes meningitis, which can lead to death. It is spread by close contact. Vaccines available for this disease are MCV4 and MPSV4.

Mumps
Mumps is spread by a virus that causes flu-like symptoms, followed by swelling of the salivary glands. Mumps is spread through close contact. The vaccination is available in the combination form MMR.

Pertussis
Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is caused by a bacteria and results in severe respiratory infection and a telltale cough. Pertussis is spread through the air. The vaccination is available in the combination forms DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td. Booster shots should be received every 10 years.

Pneumococcal Bacteria
Pneumococcal infections are caused by bacteria that cause pneumonia, meningitis, or ear infections, and possibly death. It is spread by close contact. There are two types of vaccine available, PCV13 and PPSV23.

Polio
Polio is caused by a virus that can cause paralysis, permanent disability, or even death. It is spread through close contact.

Rubella
Rubella, or German measles, is caused by a virus causing fever and rash, or birth defects in the fetus of a pregnant woman. It is spread though the air. Vaccination is available in the combination form MMR.

Tetanus
Tetanus is caused by a virus leading to tightening of muscles, locking of the jaw, and inability to swallow, and may lead to death. This virus is acquired through broken skin caused by puncture wounds or contaminated objects. Vaccination is available in the combination forms DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td. Booster shots should be received every 10 years, or upon contact with a potentially contaminated surface.

Varicella
Varicella, or chicken pox, is a virus that causes an uncomfortable rash, and may become serious or cause death. It is spread through the air by coughing or sneezing.

 

This article was contributed by Sheldon Armstrong together with his good friend Travis Guerrero, a health and nutrition freelance writer who loves sharing his knowledge throughout the web so people can live a healthier life. If you’re interested in a career in medicine, he recommends checking out Medical Assistant Training, the number one resource for people looking to be a certified medical assistant. With a great understanding of what patients need, they can help find the right school for you!