According to the CDC, there are presently 16 diseases that have recommended vaccination schedules. The goal is for all U.S. citizens to receive these vaccinations to prevent the spread of these infectious diseases, and ultimately to eradicate them.
Specific vaccine recommendations vary depending on age, geographic location, and other risk factors.
These basic vaccinations are often given in combination to reduce the number of injections. The following diseases can be prevented by following the CDC guidelines for immunization:
Diphtheria. This highly potent, bacterial toxin causes respiratory disease that is often fatal.
Haemophilus influenzae type B. A bacterial infection that leads to conditions, such as meningitis, pneumonia, and epiglottitis.
Hepatitis A. A viral disease of the liver transmitted through oral contact with water, food, or items contaminated with feces. Symptoms may include gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, and yellowing of the skin. However, some people, particularly younger children, may have no symptoms.
Hepatitis B. A potentially more severe viral disease of the liver transmitted through blood and body fluid exposure. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, joint pain, and yellowing of the skin and eyes that can last from weeks to months.
Human papillomavirus (HPV). A very common sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts called condylomas and can lead to cervical and other less common, but serious, cancers.
Influenza (flu). An acute infectious respiratory disease caused by various strains of influenza viruses.
Measles. An acute viral respiratory infection marked by fever, cough, runny nose, and a rash all over the body.
Meningococcal meningitis. A severe bacterial infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord due to a bacterial infection. Symptoms can include fever, headache, a stiff neck, nausea, and altered mental status.
Mumps. A painful infection of salivary or parotid glands and sometimes other areas of the body caused by the mumps virus.
Pertussis (whooping cough). A highly contagious acute bacterial respiratory tract infection that causes severe and persistent high-pitched coughing spasms.
Invasive pneumococcal disease. A serious infection caused by the spread of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae from the respiratory tract to the blood, brain, or other organs.
Polio. A highly infectious viral disease that invades the nervous system. Symptoms may include a flu-like illness, and stiffness in the neck and back with pain in the limbs. In the worst case, the infection can result in permanent paralysis of the limbs, typically the legs.
Rotavirus. A highly contagious virus that is the leading cause of severe diarrhea among children.
Rubella (German measles). An acute viral infection characterized by a rash and fever.
Tetanus (lock jaw). A bacterial disease of the nervous system caused by Clostridium tetani. Symptoms are marked by painful contractions of the muscles that can progress to seizure-like activity and nervous system disorders.
Varicella (chicken pox). An acute, contagious disease, usually occurring in children, caused by the varicella-zoster virus and marked by skin eruptions.
Zoster (shingles). A painful skin rash commonly with blisters caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same one that causes chicken pox. After a chicken pox infection, the virus can remain in nerve cells and reappear years later in the form of shingles.