Vaccine Safety and the Importance of Vaccines

When it comes to important issues like vaccination, don't let yourself be misled by unreliable sources in the media. The New York State Department of Health, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Association for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the Gates Foundation, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the Department of Health of the United Kingdom, UNICEF and many other reliable organizations around the world all agree vaccines are safe and they save lives.

Recent media attention focused on unfounded claims of harm has caused parents to delay or skip vaccinations, and serious diseases including mumps, pertussis (whooping cough) and the measles have begun to re-emerge with deadly results. Don't be misled by poorly evaluated sources on TV, in the paper or online. Vaccines have the most sophisticated safety tracking system in the world, and decades of research support the fact that vaccinations have been proven safe, with no link to autism.

Vaccinations are critical to building a child's immune system. Each year children still die from preventable illnesses. One of those children was Joseph Marotta. At 5 years old, Joseph contracted the flu. Less than 10 days later, Joseph died. His parents are now strong advocates for vaccination.

Babies are born with some immunity that they receive from their mothers, but that immunity begins to wear off after just a few months. Since they have not been exposed to disease, they have not had the opportunity to sufficiently build up their own immune system against vaccine-preventable diseases. Babies are only protected from many serious diseases, such as pertussis (also known as whooping cough), if they are vaccinated. Talk to your doctor and make sure to stay on top of the recommended vaccine schedule (PDF, 312KB, 1pg.) so your child is vaccinated, and safe from disease, as soon as possible.

For a complete list of the diseases vaccines prevent, visit The Diseases Vaccines Prevent.