Vaccines & Immunization
In the U.S., vaccines have reduced or eliminated many infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines.
Influenza (flu) can lead to serious illness, including pneumonia. It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year. It is especially important for those at an increased risk for serious flu-related complications, including:
- Pregnant women
- Young children
- Older people
- People with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease
Please see our Flu Information page for more info on vaccination.
Pertussis - Whooping Cough
It is very important to protect infants from pertussis. Infants who are 6 months old or younger with pertussis experience the highest rate of:
- Encephalopathy (a degenerative disease of the brain)
Between 2000 and 2012, 255 persons died from pertussis; 228 of these were less than six months old.
Please see our Pertussis - Whooping Cough page for more info on how to protect your infant.
Vaccinations for School
California Law (Health & Safety Code 120325-120375) requires that children entering public or private school, including childcare, preschool, elementary, or secondary schools, receive required immunizations.
For more information on what vaccinations are required for school, please see our Childrens Vaccines page.