The impact of vaccines in the US

“The Impact of Vaccines in the United States – chart from National Institute or Allergy and Infectious Diseases”

Disease Baseline 20th Century Pre-Vaccine Annual Cases 2008 Cases* Percent Decrease
Measles 503,282 55 99.9%
Diphtheria 175,885 0 100%
Mumps 152,209 454 95.7%
Pertussis 147,271 10,735 92.7%
Smallpox 48,164 0 100%
Rubella 47,745 11 99.9%
Haemophilus influenzae type b, invasive 20,000 30 99.9%
Polio 16,316 0 100%
Tetanus 1,314 19 98.6%

Sometimes it’s more revealing to know the worst-case history rather than baseline annual figures. Here’s an excerpt from a 2010 updated article about rubella from the National Network for Immunization Information :

“Before a vaccine was available, there was a rubella outbreak in the U.S. (1963 to 1964), during which 12 million people developed the disease. Because many of those infected were expectant mothers, 11,000 fetuses died and 20,000 babies were born with permanent disabilities as a result of exposure to the virus. The number of cases of rubella fell very sharply once the rubella vaccine was licensed in 1969; today there are fewer than 1,000 cases of rubella reported each year in the U.S. on average and less than 10 cases of congenital rubella syndrome.”

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