Don't Miss a Dose: Vaccines Save Lives
When it comes to making choices about vaccines, it’s important for parents to have all the facts.
Science has shown that getting vaccinated is much safer than getting sick. Side effects from vaccines are minimal, and vaccine benefits are significant. Vaccines protect children against dangerous and potentially deadly diseases that can cause serious illness, paralysis, deafness, brain damage and even death. By getting your kids vaccinated on time, you can help protect them before they come in contact with dangerous diseases. Getting vaccinated also means kids are less likely to miss school (and you’re less likely to miss work) because of illness.
Talk to your child’s health care provider if you have any questions and ask how staying up-to-date with the vaccine schedule can protect your child.
Protecting Kids for Years
Vaccines have been given to children for more than 75 years. In that time, there have been lots of improvements to make vaccines safer and more effective.
Are Vaccines Really Safe?
Yes! You might be concerned about your child getting more than one vaccine at a time, but you don’t need to worry. Research has not found a link between vaccines and developmental issues. The vaccines that your doctor recommends are safe, and provide kids with the best protection against diseases they might be exposed to at daycare, the grocery store, parks and other public spaces. By getting vaccines on time or catching up on vaccine doses if you’re behind, you help build your child’s immune system.
How Vaccines Work
Vaccines imitate an infection to teach the body what the disease looks like and how to fight it. Every disease is different—sometimes it takes one vaccine dose for the body to be protected and sometimes it takes several vaccine doses. Health experts have studied how long it takes for vaccines to give children immunity for each disease, and created a safe vaccine schedule to keep kids protected. You can still get infected if you have been vaccinated, but it’s less likely. Vaccinated children and adults are far less likely to become seriously ill or die if they do get these diseases.
Five Childhood Vaccine Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Want more information? Here are some questions to ask your child’s health-care provider at your next visit:
- Why do my kids need these vaccines? Do they work?
- Are these vaccines really safe?
- What happens if my child gets one of these diseases?
- Are these diseases even around anymore?
- Is it safe for children to get more than one vaccine at one time?
|Birth||HepB (First time)|
|1 Month||HepB (Second time anytime up to 2 months old)|
|2 Months||HepB (Second time anytime up to 2 months old)||RV (First time)||DTaP (First time)||HiB (First time)||PCV (First time)||IPV (First time)|
|4 Months||RV (Second time)||DTaP (Second time)||HiB (Second time)||PCV (Second time)||IPV (Second time)|
|6 Months||HepB (Third time anytime up to 18 months old)||RV (Third time) - Administering a third dose at age 6 months depends on the brand of Hib or rotavirus vaccine used for previous dose.||DTaP (Third time)||HiB (Third time) - Administering a third dose at age 6 months depends on the brand of Hib or rotavirus vaccine used for previous dose.||PCV (Third time)||IPV (Third time anytime up to 18 months old)|
|12-15 Months||HepB||DTaP (Fourth time anytime up to 18 months old)||HiB (Fourth time anytime up to 15 months old)||PCV (Fourth time anytime up to 15 months old)||IPV (Third time anytime up to 18 months old)||MMR|
|18-23 Months||HepB (18 months)||IPV (Third time anytime up to 18 months old)||Varicella||Hep A|
|4-6 years||DTaP (5th time)||IPV (Fourth time)||MMR||Varicella|
Diseases and the Vaccines That Protect You
Common Vaccine Side Effects
Vaccines, like any medication, can sometimes cause side effects. Most of these side effects are minor and go away within a few days. Some people have no side effects.
The most common side effects are:
- Soreness at the injection site
- Low-grade fever
- Loss of appetite
If you have concerns about vaccine side effects, be sure to talk to your child’s health care provider.