"'Does anybody die from the flu?' I didn’t know people died from the flu — 36,000 people died."
-- President Donald Trump, touring the CDC as reported by CNN

Unfortunately, the President’s sentiment is not unusual. Most people see influenza as non-threatening. But, most healthcare providers know how devastating influenza can be. Each year, Vaccinate Your Family, a national nonprofit organization originally started by Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers, puts together a report to remind everyone of the importance and impact of vaccines.

The release of the 2020 State of the ImmUnion Report has been overshadowed by coronavirus, but it should not be missed. Some of the highlights:

  • Are vaccine-preventable diseases affecting your state? — On page 3, this U.S. map shows that every U.S. state has been affected by vaccine-preventable diseases in the last year, and it highlights the importance of influenza disease — as every color category includes flu. Other diseases shown include hepatitis A and measles. Indeed, 20 states had cases of all three of these diseases in the last few years.
  • Vaccines given in pregnancy protect babies — On page 7, a simple image shows the effectiveness of vaccinating pregnant women to protect their babies. Pertussis and influenza vaccination of mothers decreases the risk of their babies being hospitalized with these diseases by 91% and 70%, respectively.
  • After approval, vaccines are closely monitored for efficacy and safety — On page 10, a diagram shows the main post-licensure monitoring systems, making the point that these systems are sensitive enough to detect an effect that occurs as infrequently as 1 in 500,000 people.

Check out the full report.

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.