9 Most Common Vaccine Preventable Diseases

General Health

9 Most Common Vaccine Preventable Diseases

It is important that you keep your immunization records updated to avoid getting sick, most especially during a pandemic.

Medically Inspected by: Edilberto B. Garcia, Jr., MD, Maria Cristina H. Ventura, MD, Loreta D. Dayco, MD

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID pandemic has caused a noticeable decline in the routine vaccination of children in the US. The Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) has emphasized the importance of ensuring that your family’s immunization records are still updated despite the ongoing crisis.

Vaccination helps ease the burden on the country’s healthcare system as it prevents the spread of some of the most common preventable diseases. Read more about them and how you can avoid getting infected.



What it is: Hepatitis is a serious health condition that is caused by the inflammation of the liver. There are five main hepatitis viruses according to the WHO: A, B, C, D, and E. This illness can lead to chronic disease that can spread within a community and may lead to death if left untreated.

How it spreads: Receiving contaminated blood, sexual contact, consumption of contaminated water/food, autoimmune diseases


Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

What it is: HPV is a common sexually-transmitted infection that may cause other health problems like genital warts and cancer. Most people go on with their lives not knowing that they are infected. Women may only find out about their diagnosis after getting a routine pap smear or when screened for cervical cancer. Others only discover that they have the condition when they develop genital warts or get diagnosed with cervical cancer.

How it spreads: Sexual contact



What it is: Infuenza or the “flu” is a virus that affects your respiratory system that usually goes away on its own—but can be deadly if left untreated. Those with weak immune systems and other chronic illnesses like heart disease, asthma, diabetes, etc. are more at risk of developing flu complications.

How it spreads: Through respiratory droplets released by an infected person after sneezing/coughing/talking



What it is: The WHO classifies measles as a highly contagious disease that is also caused by a virus. It attacks the respiratory tract and spreads throughout the body which can lead to death. Measles mostly affects children aged 5 and below but can also infect adults as well.

How it spreads: Through the air



What it is: Pneumococcal disease is caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. This is a common and dangerous disease found that affects young children and puts older at adults at risk of serious infection if left untreated. Currently, there are two available vaccines that are administered throughout a person’s lifetime. Ask your physician on what works best for your health before availing any form of vaccination.

How it spreads: Exposure/direct contact with an infected person



What it is: Poliomyelitis or polio is a deadly disease that infects mostly children under the age of 5. The virus multiplies in the patient’s intestines then proceeds to attack the nervous system which eventually leads to paralysis.

How it spreads: Through fecal-oral route, contaminated water/food (rare)



What it is: Rotavirus is a contagious disease causes diarrhea in babies and small children. Severe infections can lead to vomiting, nausea, and dehydration. It is one of the first vaccines that newborns should receive as early as 2 weeks old or before 15 weeks of age.

How it spreads: Through an infected person’s stool, hand-to-mouth contact with contaminated feces


Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis

What it is: Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis can all be prevented with the DTap vaccine. Tetanus is a serious condition that enters your body through cuts and abrasions that causes muscles to stiffen (lock jaw). Diptheria can affect your breathing and cause heart failure or even death, while pertussis or commonly called whooping cough can easily lead to serious complications in infants and young adolescents.

How it spreads: Tetanus: infected open wounds; diphtheria and pertussis: person to person transmission


Varicella (Chickenpox)

What it is: Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus that results to painful, itchy blisters on your skin. It was a common illness back in the 1990s before the vaccine was first introduced in the US in 1995. Everyone, including children and adults, are advised to get their complete series of chickenpox shots to avoid getting sick.

How it spreads: Direct contact with an infected person’s saliva/blisters/ mucus


Vaccination is a recommended course of action to help prevent the spread of these diseases. While it may be costly for the patient at first, getting vaccinated is still comparably more cost-efficient versus getting sick, hospitalization, and treatment. It reduces your risk of temporarily or permanently suffering from painful illnesses as well.

Always ensure that you and your loved ones have updated vaccination records to make sure you have the best form of defense against certain diseases. Call your physician today to get proper assessment and advice on immunization.


General disclaimer

Your doctor will always be in the best position to give the appropriate medical advice for your condition. For suspected undesirable drug reaction, seek medical attention immediately and report to the FDA at www.fda.gov.ph and UNILAB, Inc. at UNILAB-1 or productsafety@unilab.com.ph. Always buy your medicine from your trusted drugstores and retailers.



Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough Vaccination | What You Should Know | CDC. Cdc.gov. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/dtap-tdap-td/public/index.html.


HPV infection - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hpv-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20351596.

Influenza (flu) - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719.

Measles. Who.int. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/measles.

Measles - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/measles/symptoms-causes/syc-20374857.

Poliomyelitis (polio). Who.int. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.who.int/health-topics/poliomyelitis#tab=tab_1.

Rotavirus | Vaccines. Vaccines.gov. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.vaccines.gov/diseases/rotavirus.

STD Facts - Human papillomavirus (HPV). Cdc.gov. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm.

Vaccine Information Statement | Rotavirus | VIS | CDC. Cdc.gov. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/rotavirus.html.

What is hepatitis?. Who.int. (2020). Retrieved 21 May 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/what-is-hepatitis.

Pneumococcal Vaccination | What You Should Know | CDC. Cdc.gov. (2020). Retrieved 26 May 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/pneumo/public/index.html.

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