Vaccine Preventable Diseases


111 Soledad, Suite 1000
San Antonio, TX 78205


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Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Vaccine-preventable disease levels are at or near record lows. However, we are unable to take this for granted. It is important that children and adults continue to receive their immunizations on time every time. If we stopped vaccinating, diseases that are almost unknown would reappear in our community. Vaccines are designed not to just protect our children but our grandchildren and their grandchildren.


Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and even death. 

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acelluar pertussis), DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@), DT (diphtheria & tetanus), Td (tetanus & diphtheria), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection.

Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)

Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) disease is a serious bacterial disease which usually strikes children under 5 years of age. May lead to pneumonia and severe swelling in the throat making it hard to breath. May also cause infections of the blood, joints, bones and covering of the heart and may lead to death. 

Hib vaccine and Hib & hepatitis B combination (Comvax@) vaccine are used for protection.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A can affect anyone. Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation can also help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. 

Hepatitis A and hepatitis A& B combination (Twinrix@) vaccines are used for protection.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B can cause short-term illness that leads to loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, tiredness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes) and pain in muscles, joints, and stomach. It may also cause long-term illness leading to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer and even death. 

Hepatitis B, DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@), Hib & hepatitis B combination, and hepatitis A&B combination (Twinrix@) vaccines are used for protection.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact. 

There are approximately 40 types of genital HPV. Some types can cause cervical cancer in women. Other types can cause genital warts in both males and females. 

The HPV vaccine is used for protection.

SEASONAL Influenza (FLU) Vaccination

The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

The trivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus. The following trivalent flu vaccines are available:

  • A standard dose intradermal trivalent shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot, approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.

The quadrivalent flu vaccine will protect against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The following quadrivalent flu vaccines will be available:

(*”Healthy” indicates persons who do not have an underlying medical condition that predisposes them to influenza complications.)

CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over the other. The important thing is to get a flu vaccine every year.

Invasive pneumococcal

Invasive pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under the age of 2. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain that is difficult to treat because of drug resistance. 

The pneumococcal conjugate (PCV7, Prevnar@) and the pneumococcal polysaccharide (Pneumovax23@) vaccines are used for protection.


Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever. It may lead to 

  • ear infection
  • pneumonia
  • seizures
  • brain damage
  • death

MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.


Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, bloodstream infection, and other localized infections. 

Although the disease is not common in the United States, in those who get it, symptoms develop and progress rapidly even leading to death in 24-48 hours. 

Two vaccines against meningococcal disease are available: meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4 or Menomune®), and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4 or Menactra®).


Mumps virus causes fever, headache and swollen glands. May lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries and rarely, death. 

MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.

Pertussis (Whooping cough)

Pertussis (Whooping cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. May last for weeks and can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. 

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acelluar pertussis), DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@), and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection.


Polio can paralyze (make arms and legs unable to move) and may start with a fever and muscle spasms. 

Inactivated Polio vaccine (IPV) and DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@) vaccine used for protection.


Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe acute gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) among children worldwide. 

The rotavirus vaccine currently licensed in the United States, Rotateq, has shown to be quite effective against rotavirus disease. 

This vaccine will prevent 

  • 74 percent of all rotavirus cases
  • about 98 percent of severe cases, and 
  • about 96 percent of hospitalizations due to rotavirus

The rotavirus RotaTeq@) vaccine is used for protection.


Rubella virus causes rash, mild fever and arthritis (mostly in women). If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects. 

MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.


Shingles (herpes zoster) is painful localized skin rash often with blisters that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. 

Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs. 

The shingles vaccine (Zostavax@) is available to person 60 years of age and older for protection.

Tetanus (Lockjaw)

Tetanus (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. May also lead to "locking" of the jaw so the person cannot open his mouth or swallow. May also lead to death. 

Td (tetanus & diphtheria) and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

Varicella (Chickenpox) may be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. Causes a rash, itching, fever and tiredness and may lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage or death. A person who had had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later. 

Varicella and MMR-V combination (measles, mumps, rubella, and Varicella) vaccines used for protection.