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Flu (Inactivated) Vaccine Information - CDC

Why You Should Get A Flu Shot?

Influenza; commonly called "flu", is a highly contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually starting in October and decreasing in May.

Flu is caused by different influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact.

Although, anyone can get influenza, the highest risk of getting influenza viruses is among children. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly and can last many days. These symptoms may include:

sore throat
muscle aches
runny or stuffy nose

Influenza can make some people much sicker than others. These people include young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease, nervous system disorders, or a weakened immune system. Flu vaccination is especially important for these people, and anyone in close contact with them.

Flu can also lead to pneumonia, and may make existing medical conditions worse. It can also cause diarrhea and seizures in children.

Even here in the United States, thousands of people die from flu EVERY YEAR, and many more are hospitalized!

The CDC says, "the influenza (Flu) vaccine is the best protection against flu and its complications. Flu vaccine also helps prevent the contagious spread of flu from person to person."

Influenza Vaccine (Live) Information - CDC

If you prefer to get a 'FLU MIST", you are getting a live, attenuated influenza vaccine (called LAIV), which is sprayed into the nose. "Attenuated" means weakened. The viruses in the vaccine have been weakened so they won't give you the flu.

There are other "inactivated" and "recombinant" flu vaccines that do not contain live virus. These "flu shots" are given by injection with a needle. Injectable flu vaccines are described in a separate Vaccine Information Statement.

Flu vaccination is recommended every year. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age might need two doses during one year.

Flu viruses are always changing. Each year's flu vaccine is made to protect against viruses that are likely to cause disease that year. LAIV protects against 4 different influenza viruses. Flu vaccine cannot prevent all cases of flu, but it is the best defense against the disease.

It takes about 2 weeks for protection to develop after vaccination, and protection lasts several months to a year.

Some illnesses that are not caused by influenza virus are often mistaken for flu. Flu vaccine will not prevent these illnesses. It can only prevent influenza.

LAIV may be given to people 2 through 49 years of age. It may safely be given at the same time as other vaccines.

LAIV does not contain thimerosal or other preservatives.

Hepatitis A Vaccine Information - CDC

Some people should be routinely vaccinated with hepatitis A vaccine:

• All children between their first and second birthdays (12 through 23 months of age).

• Anyone 1 year of age and older traveling to or working in countries with high or intermediate prevalence of hepatitis A, such as those located in Central or South America, Mexico, Asia (except Japan), Africa, and eastern Europe.

• Children and adolescents 2 through 18 years of age who live in states or communities where routine vaccination has been implemented because of high disease incidence.

• Men who have sex with men.

• People who use street drugs.

• People with chronic liver disease.

Hepatitis B Vaccine Information - CDC

Hepatitis B is a serious infection that affects the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus.

• In 2009, about 38,000 people became infected with hepatitis B.

• Each year about 2,000 to 4,000 people die in the United States from cirrhosis or liver cancer caused by hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can cause:

Acute (short-term) illness. This can lead to:
• loss of appetite
• diarrhea and vomiting
• tiredness
• jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
• pain in muscles, joints, and stomach Acute illness, with symptoms, is more common among adults.

Children who become infected usually do not have symptoms. Chronic (long-term) infection. Some people go on to develop chronic hepatitis B infection. Most of them do not have symptoms, but the infection is still very serious, and can lead to:
• liver damage (cirrhosis)
• liver cancer
• death Chronic infection is more common among infants and children than among adults.

People who are chronically infected can spread hepatitis B virus to others, even if they don’t look or feel sick. Up to 1.4 million people in the United States may have chronic hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis B virus is easily spread through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.

People can also be infected from contact with a contaminated object, where the virus can live for up to 7 days.
• A baby whose mother is infected can be infected at birth;
• Children, adolescents, and adults can become infected by:
  - contact with blood and body fluids through breaks in the skin such as bites, cuts, or sores;
  - contact with objects that have blood or body fluids on them such as toothbrushes, razors, or monitoring and treatment devices for     diabetes;
  - having unprotected sex with an infected person;
  - sharing needles when injecting drugs;
  - being stuck with a used needle.

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Information - CDC

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (called PCV13 or Prevnar® 13) is recommended to protect infants and toddlers, and some older children and adults with certain health conditions, from pneumococcal disease.

Pneumococcal disease is caused by infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. These bacteria can spread from person to person through close contact.

Pneumococcal disease can lead to severe health problems, including pneumonia, blood infections, and meningitis. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain. Pneumococcal meningitis is fairly rare (less than 1 case per 100,000 people each year), but it leads to other health problems, including deafness and brain damage.

In children, it is fatal in about 1 case out of 10.

Children younger than two are at higher risk for serious disease than older children. People with certain medical conditions, people over age 65, and cigarette smokers are also at higher risk.

Before vaccine, pneumococcal infections caused many problems each year in the United States in children younger than 5, including:
• more than 700 cases of meningitis,
• 13,000 blood infections,
• about 5 million ear infections, and
• about 200 deaths.

About 4,000 adults still die each year because of pneumococcal infections. Pneumococcal infections can be hard to treat because some strains are resistant to antibiotics. This makes prevention through vaccination even more important.

Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Information - CDC

Vaccination can protect older adults (and some children and younger adults) from pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria that can spread from person to person through close contact.

It can cause ear infections, and it can also lead to more serious infections of the:
• Lungs (pneumonia),
• Blood (bacteremia), and
• Covering of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Meningitis can cause deafness and brain damage, and it can be fatal.

Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but children under 2 years of age, people with certain medical conditions, adults over 65 years of age, and cigarette smokers are at the highest risk.

About 18,000 older adults die each year from pneumococcal disease in the United States. Treatment of pneumococcal infections with penicillin and other drugs used to be more effective. But some strains of the disease have become resistant to these drugs. This makes prevention of the disease, through vaccination, even more important.

Meningococcal Vaccine Information - CDC

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness. It is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2 through 18 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and the spinal cord.

Meningococcal disease also causes blood infections.

About 1,000–1,200 people get meningococcal disease each year in the U.S. Even when they are treated with antibiotics, 10–15% of these people die. Of those who live, another 11%–19% lose their arms or legs, have problems with their nervous systems, become deaf, or suffer seizures or strokes.

Anyone can get meningococcal disease. But it is most common in infants less than one year of age and people 16–21 years.

Children with certain medical conditions, such as lack of a spleen, have an increased risk of getting meningococcal disease. College freshmen living in dorms are also at increased risk.

Meningococcal infections can be treated with drugs such as penicillin. Still, many people who get the disease die from it, and many others are affected for life. This is why preventing the disease through use of meningococcal vaccine is important for people at highest risk.

Shingles Vaccine Information - CDC

Shingles is a painful skin rash, often with blisters. It is also called Herpes Zoster, or just Zoster.

A shingles rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts from 2 to 4 weeks. Its main symptom is pain, which can be quite severe. Other symptoms of shingles can include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach.

Very rarely, a shingles infection can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death.

For about 1 person in 5, severe pain can continue even long after the rash clears up. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia. Shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Only someone who has had chickenpox—or, rarely, has gotten chickenpox vaccine—can get shingles. The virus stays in your body, and can cause shingles many years later.

You can’t catch shingles from another person with shingles. However, a person who has never had chickenpox (or chicken pox vaccine) could get chickenpox from someone with shingles. This is not very common.

Shingles is far more common in people 50 years of age and older than in younger people. It is also more common in people whose immune systems are weakened because of a disease such as cancer, or drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy.

At least 1 million people a year in the United States get shingles.

Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are serious diseases caused by bacteria. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds.

DIPHTHERIA causes a thick covering in the back of the throat.
• It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.

TETANUS (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body.
• It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow.

Tetanus leads to death in up to 2 out of 10 cases.

PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks.
• It can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring spells), brain damage, and death.

Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTaP) can help prevent these diseases. Most children who are vaccinated with DTaP will be protected throughout childhood. Many more children would get these diseases if we stopped vaccinating.

DTaP is a safer version of an older vaccine called DTP. DTP is no longer used in the United States.

Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccine Information - CDC

Chickenpox (also called varicella) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.
• It causes a rash, itching, fever, and tiredness.
• It can lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.
• The chickenpox virus can be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters.
• A person who has had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later.
• Before the vaccine, about 11,000 people were hospitalized for chickenpox each year in the United States.
• Before the vaccine, about 100 people died each year as a result of chickenpox in the United States.

Chickenpox vaccine can prevent chickenpox.

Most people who get chickenpox vaccine will not get chickenpox. But if someone who has been vaccinated does get chickenpox, it is usually very mild. They will have fewer blisters, are less likely to have a fever, and will recover faster.
MMR Measles, Mumps
and Rubella

Measles, mumps, and rubella are serious diseases. Before vaccines they were very common, especially among children.

• Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever.
• It can lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring), brain damage, and death.

• Mumps virus causes fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen glands.
• It can lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and rarely sterility.

Rubella (German Measles)
• Rubella virus causes rash, arthritis (mostly in women), and mild fever.
• If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.

These diseases spread from person to person through the air. You can easily catch them by being around someone who is already infected. Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect children (and adults) from all three of these diseases.

Thanks to successful vaccination programs these diseases are much less common in the U.S. than they used to be. But if we stopped vaccinating they would return.