The Diseases Vaccines Prevent and How

What Diseases Do Vaccines Prevent?

Vaccines are the safest way to protect you, your children and your community from a long list of serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. You can read about many of the diseases vaccines are used to prevent below:

For a full list of all the diseases vaccines prevent, visit the CDC website.

How Do Vaccines Prevent Disease?

Vaccines protect you by preparing your immune system to recognize and fight serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases.

A vaccine contains a specific part of a germ (bacteria or virus), called an antigen. The antigen is killed or disabled before it's used to make the vaccine, so it can't make you sick. Vaccines, and the antigens they contain, stimulate your immune system's B cells to develop protective substances called antibodies. These antibodies are responsible for killing germs that enter your body. Once activated, B cells can stay in your body for a lifetime and allow your body to remember the germ that stimulated their creation. Throughout your life, these cells will recognize and fight the actual disease caused by the germ when and if you come into contact with it.

If you're interested in reading about this topic further, visit the CDC website.

Vaccines help prevent infectious diseases and save many lives. Because of vaccines, diseases including polio and measles, that once took devastating tolls on families and whole communities, are now almost extinct.