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Why are vaccines necessary?

Vaccines are necessary for the following reasons:

  • Vaccines can prevent the risk of serious diseases common to the United States, such as influenza, pertussis and shingles. These diseases are easily spread.
  • Having a chronic health condition (like diabetes, heart or lung disease) can put people at risk for complications if they contract certain diseases. A vaccine provides protection against not only the disease itself, but further problems should a person contract the disease.
  • People are not only protecting their own health by getting vaccinated, but they're also protecting others, because most of the vaccine-preventable diseases are contagious, like influenza, meningitis and whooping cough.
  • Vaccines help prevent the spread of disease to people who cannot get immunized, like newborns and, in some instances, pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

Vaccines provide benefits by protecting both the people who receive them and those with whom they come in contact, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common. A vaccine actually eradicated smallpox, one of the most devastating diseases in history. However, some of these diseases still exist and may once again become common—and deadly—if people don’t get the vaccinations they need and when they need them.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

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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.