Immunization during childhood has greatly reduced sickness and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases, such as diphtheria and polio.
Among children born between 1994 and 2013, it is estimated that vaccination will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths, over their lifetimes.
An estimated 70% of Michigan children ages 19-35 months are immunized.
Immunizations, also called vaccinations, help protect you or your child from diseases. When you are given an immunization, you receive a vaccine that contains fragments of a disease or organism or small amounts of a weakened disease organism. The vaccine causes your immune system to develop antibodies that can subsequently recognize and attack the organism if you are exposed to it. Sometimes an immunization does not completely prevent the disease, but it will significantly reduce its severity. Immunizations are usually given by injection. Some immunizations are given only once, while others require several doses over time. Immunizations cost less than treating the disease they protect against, have very few serious side effects, and are often required for entrance into school or day care.
Although no vaccine is 100% effective, most routine childhood immunizations are effective for 85% to 95% of the children who receive them.
Side effects from vaccines are generally minor, if they occur at all. They may include:
Redness, mild swelling, or soreness where the shot was given
Drowsiness, irritability, and poor appetite in some babies
A mild rash 7 to 14 days after chickenpox or MMR immunization
Temporary joint pain after the MMR vaccine