Health awareness

Infant vaccination: a public health success story

April 1, 2019

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Vaccines are one of the greatest public health success stories of the last two centuries.

At Merck, we are committed to raising awareness about the impact of infant vaccination and working to address the challenges that still exist.

“With the exception of safe water, no other modality, not even antibiotics, has had such a major effect on mortality reduction and population growth.”

Stanley A. Plotkin

Vaccine Developer Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Emeritus Professor · Wistar Institute

The importance of vaccination

In the U.S., most young children receive recommended vaccines, but there is room for improvement.

Approximately 300 children in the U.S. die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Among children born between 1994-2016, it is estimated that vaccination may help prevent an estimated 381 million illnesses, 24.5 million hospitalizations, and 855,000 deaths over their lifetimes.

Challenges still remain

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  • Despite successes, access to vaccines remains a challenge in many parts of the U.S.
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  • Communities in the U.S. with pockets of unvaccinated or undervaccinated populations remain at increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases

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We make certain choices to help protect ourselves each day.

Some of these important choices can help protect your health and wellbeing. Talk to your doctor to find out which vaccines are recommended for your family.