Information for Parents

When it comes to making choices about vaccines, parents need 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.

Recommended Vaccine Schedules

Family vaccinated

What’s needed for school and childcare centers

Texas DSHS and the state legislature, in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency, set requirements for children entering schools or childcare facilities in Texas. These requirements affect public and private K-12 schools and childcare centers, and they are available on the Requirements page.

Vaccines are a safe and effective way to limit serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines have been so successful at combating some infectious diseases that many of us don’t know much about the diseases vaccines prevent because we’ve never known someone who has had them. To ensure the continued success of vaccines in the United States, public health professionals are committed to ensuring that vaccines are safe.

Most people do not have serious side effects from vaccines. Most side effects from vaccines are mild and go away on their own. Many common side effects after vaccination, like muscle aches or mild fever, are signs that our bodies are building a healthy immune response to protect us from disease.

Ask your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding vaccines. There are also many reliable online resources to answer your questions and help you make an informed, confident choice regarding vaccinations for yourself and your family. 

Preventable Diseases

More than 20 diseases can be prevented by using proven and tested vaccines. You can learn more about these diseases, their symptoms, their treatment, and their prevention.

Need a Vaccine Provider?

DSHS offers several low-cost programs for vaccination. Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) ensures all Texas children, regardless of parent's ability to pay, have access to ACIP-recommended vaccines. Find a TVFC provider and learn more about the program or more about vaccine-preventable diseases.

The Adult Safety Net (ASN) program provides low-cost vaccines to anyone aged 19 or older who does not have health insurance. Learn more about the ASN program and what vaccines are offered, or find a provider easily online.