Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Vaccine-preventable disease levels are at or near record lows. However, we are unable to take this for granted. It is important that children and adults continue to receive their immunizations on time every time. If we stopped vaccinating, diseases that are almost unknown would reappear in our community. Vaccines are designed not to just protect our children but our grandchildren and their grandchildren.


Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and even death.

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acelluar pertussis), DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix®), DT (diphtheria and tetanus), Td (tetanus and diphtheria), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection.

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)

Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) disease is a serious bacterial disease which usually strikes children under 5 years of age. May lead to pneumonia and severe swelling in the throat making it hard to breath. May also cause infections of the blood, joints, bones and covering of the heart and may lead to death.

Hib vaccine and Hib & hepatitis B combination (Comvax®) vaccine are used for protection.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A can affect anyone. Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation can also help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A and hepatitis A& B combination (Twinrix®) vaccines are used for protection.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B can cause short-term illness that leads to loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, tiredness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes) and pain in muscles, joints, and stomach. It may also cause long-term illness leading to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer and even death.

Hepatitis B, DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix®), Hib & hepatitis B combination, and hepatitis A&B combination (Twinrix®) vaccines are used for protection.

Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP)

If you have recently learned that you have Hepatitis B and are planning to have a child, the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) is here to help protect your baby and others from Hepatitis B.

The program provides case management for infants born to mothers who test positive for Hepatitis B at the time of delivery in order to help stop the transmission of the disease. The Hepatitis B virus can be spread to a baby during childbirth.

If you have any questions, contact your Healthcare Provider or the PHBPP at 210-207-2088.

For additional information on how to protect your baby from Hepatitis B, please see Protect Your Baby for Life: When a Pregnant Woman has Hepatitis B (PDF) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that affects both men and women. HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact. HPV infections can cause genital warts and cancers of the head, neck, and throat and to the genitalia of both males and females. HPV vaccine is used to prevent against the cancer causing types of HPV and genital warts. It is recommended for boys and girls 11 - 12 years old and is available for males until 21 years old and females until 26 years old.

HPV Fact Sheet(PDF, 122KB)

Influenza (Flu)

NOTE: CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over the other. The important thing is to get a flu vaccine every year. It is the single best way to protect against the flu.

Trivalent Flu Vaccine

The trivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus. The following trivalent flu vaccines are available:

Standard dose trivalent shot that is manufactured using virus grown in eggs

There are different brands of this type of vaccine, and each is approved for different ages, 6 months and older.

Standard dose trivalent shot containing virus grown in cell culture

Approved for people 18 and older.

Standard dose trivalent shot that is egg-free

Approved for people 18 through 49 years of age.

High-dose trivalent shot

Approved for people 65 and older.

Standard dose intradermal trivalent shot

This shot is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot, approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.

Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine

The quadrivalent flu vaccine will protect against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The following quadrivalent flu vaccines will be available:

  • A standard dose quadrivalent shot
  • A standard dose quadrivalent flu vaccine, given as a nasal spray.
    • This is approved for healthy people 2 through 49 years of age.
    • ”Healthy” indicates persons who do not have an underlying medical condition that predisposes them to influenza complications.

Invasive Pneumococcal

Invasive pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under the age of 2. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain that is difficult to treat because of drug resistance.

The pneumococcal conjugate (PCV7, Prevnar®) and the pneumococcal polysaccharide (Pneumovax23®) vaccines are used for protection.


Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever. It may lead to:

  • ear infection
  • pneumonia
  • seizures
  • brain damage
  • death

MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.


Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, bloodstream infection, and other localized infections. 

Although the disease is not common in the United States, in those who get it, symptoms develop and progress rapidly even leading to death in 24 - 48 hours. 

Two vaccines against meningococcal disease are available: meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4 or Menomune®), and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4 or Menactra®).


Mumps virus causes fever, headache and swollen glands. May lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries and rarely, death. 

MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.

Pertussis (Whooping cough)

Pertussis (Whooping cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. May last for weeks and can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. 

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acelluar pertussis), DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix®) and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection.


Polio can paralyze (make arms and legs unable to move) and may start with a fever and muscle spasms. 

Inactivated Polio vaccine (IPV) and DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@) vaccine used for protection.


Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe acute gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) among children worldwide. 

The rotavirus vaccine currently licensed in the United States, RotaTeq®, has shown to be quite effective against rotavirus disease. 

This vaccine will prevent:

  • 74 percent of all rotavirus cases
  • about 98 percent of severe cases
  • about 96 percent of hospitalizations due to rotavirus

The rotavirus RotaTeq® vaccine is used for protection.


Rubella virus causes rash, mild fever and arthritis (mostly in women). If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects. 

MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Shingles (herpes zoster) is painful localized skin rash often with blisters that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. 

Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs. 

The shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) is available to person 60 years of age and older for protection.

Tetanus (Lockjaw)

Tetanus (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. May also lead to "locking" of the jaw so the person cannot open his mouth or swallow. May also lead to death. 

Td (tetanus and diphtheria) and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection

Varicella (Chickenpox)

Varicella (Chickenpox) may be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. Causes a rash, itching, fever and tiredness and may lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage or death. A person who had had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later. 

Varicella and MMR-V combination (measles, mumps, rubella, and Varicella) vaccines used for protection.