smiling child held by mom while nurse swabs arm for vaccine

As several measles outbreaks in the U.S. in recent years so vividly show us, vaccine-preventable diseases can be a threat to our health. APHA promotes immunization of the world's children as well as throughout the lifespan.

flu shot signDo vaccines work? Think about it: As the 2014 Ebola outbreak raged in West Africa, no vaccine was available, so thousands of people became very sick and more than 9,000 died. In the case of measles, in the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15. Up to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year, 400-500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 suffered encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. Now, two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective at preventing measles if someone is exposed to the virus. Vaccines work!

From The Nation's Health: Vaccine exemptions scrutinized in wake of measles outbreaks and Countering vaccine hesitancy with evidence-based decisions

Organization letter to Congress (PDF) outlining top recommendations to stop current vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks and prevent more from occurring

From APHA's Public Health Newswire: "The recent spate of measles cases is a wake-up call for Americans," says CDC Director Robert Redfield.

From The Nation's Health: Outbreak of measles shows danger of vaccination exemptions

Read the letter to President Trump (PDF) from national and state health organizations (including APHA) expressing unequivocal support for the safety of vaccines.

One way to counter misinformation about childhood vaccines: train parents to be immunization advocates.

Check out our vaccine-related resources

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Measles: Highly contagious, easy to prevent
Text version, English PDF, Spanish PDF

Child vaccinations
Text version, English PDF, Spanish PDF

Text version, English PDF, Spanish PDF

Adult vaccinations
Text version, English PDF, Spanish PDF 

Top photo by Heather Hazzan, SELF Magazine. Find more great free use vaccination images online.

Why don't  people get vaccinated? Hear what Elmo and former U.S Surgeon General Vivek Murthy have to say about that....

Did you have a 1 in 12,000 chance of getting hit by lightning, but only a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of having a reaction to a vaccine? Find out more in this infographic from the producers of the film "Vaccines — Calling the Shots."

is a lightning strike or severe reaction to vaccine more likely