Healthy Hump Day: Vaccines and Preventable Diseases

Posted: April 12, 2017  

Bobbi, your registered dietitian here. Today, I am going to deviate from food and diet and talk about another concern that young mothers (and fathers) share. Vaccines.

Did you know that despite progress, approximately 42,000 adults and 300 children in the United States die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases?

People in the United States continue to get diseases that are vaccine preventable. Viral hepatitis, influenza, and tuberculosis (TB) remain among the leading causes of illness and death in the United States and account for substantial spending on the related consequences of infection.

As I have shared before, I have a couple of elementary school age rugrats and I want to protect them from the horrors of any and all disease if I can. cites that vaccines are among the most cost-effective clinical preventive services and are a core component of any preventive services package. Childhood immunization programs provide a very high return on investment. For example, for each birth cohort vaccinated with the routine immunization schedule (this includes DTap, Td, Hib, Polio, MMR, Hep B, and varicella vaccines), society:

  • Saves 33,000 lives.
  • Prevents 14 million cases of disease.
  • Reduces direct health care costs by $9.9 billion.
  • Saves $33.4 billion in indirect costs.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics and environmental changes multiply the potential for not only epidemics of all types of infectious diseases here in the United States but globally. We travel, we migrate, we import and export food, agricultural practices differ greatly around the world and don’t forget the threat of bioterrorism.

Infectious diseases are a critical public health, humanitarian, and security concern; coordinated efforts will protect people across the Nation and around the world. So, for the protection of all the little rugrats, consider getting yours vaccinated.

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