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How many deaths worldwide are prevented with vaccines?

Worldwide, childhood vaccines prevent up to three million deaths each year. The discovery and wide application of vaccines that protect against once-fatal childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella and diphtheria is one of the most significant medical contributions of the past two centuries. Today, newborns get their first vaccine soon after birth (hepatitis B), then, between one and two months begin a series of shots that will eventually protect them against 14 diseases.

In recent years, however, parents are increasingly likely to under-vaccinate their children. A January 2013 study reported that nearly half of children ages 2 months to 24 months in the United States either aren't getting all the necessary vaccines or have not been vaccinated at all.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.