In 2000, the Vaccine Education Center was established by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a source of scientifically accurate and updated vaccine information for both parents and healthcare professionals.
Vaccines are truly the miracle of modern medicine. Consider this from the Center’s website:
Vaccines have literally transformed the landscape of medicine over the course of the 20th century. Before vaccines, parents in the United States could expect that every year:
- Polio would paralyze 10,000 children.
- Rubella (German measles) would cause birth defects and mental retardation in as many as 20,000 newborns.
- Measles would infect about 4 million children, killing about 500.
- Diphtheria would be one of the most common causes of death in school-aged children.
- A bacterium called Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) would cause meningitis in 15,000 children, leaving many with permanent brain damage.
- Pertussis (whooping cough) would kill thousands of infants.
There is a nice section on how vaccines are made. As elegant as vaccines are, they are pretty simple in composition and design. How they work is not very complicated, either. Every vaccine and the diseases they prevent are thoroughly explored here.
This site has been a resource for pediatricians for years. It’s a great site for parents too!