Vaccine for whooping cough from Lancaster General Health's Suburban Outpatient Center.

Vaccinations against the following diseases are required of all K-12 Pennsylvania students who aren’t exempted. Meningitis is the exception; it is required only for seventh through 12th grades.

Listed are when each vaccine was introduced in the U.S. and what the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says happened before widespread vaccination.


  • Vaccine started: 1920s.
  • Before vaccine: Between 500 and 600 cases each year.


  • Vaccine started: 1940s.
  • Before vaccine: 206,000 cases of diphtheria in 1921, resulting in 15,520 deaths.


Pertussis is better known as whooping cough.

  • Vaccine started: 1940s.
  • Before vaccine: About 200,000 children got sick, and about 9,000 died from whooping cough each year.


  • Vaccine started: 1955.
  • Before vaccine: More than 15,000 cases of paralysis each year.


  • Vaccine started: 1963.
  • Before vaccine: 3 to 4 million people got measles each year, and 400 to 500 died.


  • Vaccine started: 1967.
  • Before vaccine: Was a universal disease of childhood.


  • Vaccine started: 1969.
  • Before vaccine: In last major epidemic, from 1964 to 1965, an estimated 12.5 million got disease; 11,000 pregnant women lost their babies; 2,100 newborns died; and 20,000 babies were born with congenital rubella syndrome.

Hepatitis B

  • Vaccine started: 1982.
  • Before vaccine: 200,000 to 300,000 people were infected annually, including approximately 20,000 children.


Varicella is better known as chickenpox. Those with evidence of having it aren’t required to get the vaccine.

  • Vaccine started: 1995.
  • Before vaccine: About 4 million people got chickenpox each year, over 10,500 of them were hospitalized, and about 100 to 150 died.


  • Vaccine started: 1974, with more effective versions following.
  • Before vaccine: About 10% to 15% of cases are fatal, and the case count has been declining steadily since the mid 1990s, when there were about 3,500 annually.