Immunization is one of the greatest medical successes in human history. Immunizations have saved millions of lives over the past century. Children need immunizations (shots) to protect them from certain dangerous childhood diseases. And now, increasingly, vaccines are available to help people of all ages from catching and spreading serious diseases like flu, meningitis, and whooping cough. Getting immunized helps our communities stay healthier. That’s because diseases spread more easily from person to person among people who haven’t gotten their shots. Many diseases that have been eliminated in the United States are still common in other parts of the world. That means that dangerous diseases like polio and measles are potentially just a plane flight away. A 2006 outbreak of mumps in the Midwest shows how easy it is for these diseases to spread. Infants and young children are at the highest risk from these diseases. Immunizations help your child’s immune system to become stronger to fight off these diseases. Each time a child receives an immunization, their immune system becomes stronger.
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