dhs-ph-banner-500x100.jpg

Vaccinations Prevent Communicable Diseases

The current outbreak of measles nationwide and in parts of California can potentially impact the health and safety of unvaccinated or undervaccinated children. These children are most at risk of contracting measles in Sonoma County.

Childhood immunizations can effectively protect children from contracting vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough, chicken pox and measles.

Why Immunize?

Why immunize our children? Between 2001 and 2010, the United States saw big declines in the number of cases of diseases that are prevented through vaccination. Because of this, vaccines are one of the top public health achievements of the decade.

Sometimes we are confused by the messages in the media. However, we are assured that, thanks to vaccines, some diseases are almost gone from the United States.

Diseases are becoming rare due to vaccinations

It’s true, some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. because we have been vaccinating against them. Some ask whether it’s really worthwhile to keep vaccinating.

It’s much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, “Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.” But the leak hasn’t stopped. Before long we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.

Almost everyone can and should receive all recommended vaccines

Some children and adults who have compromised immune systems or have had severe reactions to a previous vaccination should not receive vaccines. The good news is that vaccines are safe and effective for the overwhelming majority of people.

Keep immunizing until disease is eliminated.

Unless we can “stop the leak” or eliminate the disease, it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will become infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.  

Contact Information

Disease Control Unit

Public Health Division

Health Services

Contact us by Phone
Address

Public Health Division

625 5th Street

Santa Rosa, CA 95404
38.441691, -122.713746

Ask a Disease Control Nurse

Get answers to questions you may have about communicable diseases.

Ask a Disease Control Nurse