As a parent, your primary goal is to keep your child healthy and safe. Immunizing your child against infectious diseases is one of the most important actions you can take to help keep your child healthy. Vaccines are one of the most effective and successful tools to help prevent disease, illness, and potential death.  

 

Why should my child be vaccinated?

Although some vaccine-preventable diseases may not be obvious today in the United States, they still exist. Diseases that we thought would no longer cause illness in our children, such as measles, are starting to return. Once you weigh the evidence, you can see that one important way to help protect your child is through immunization.

 

I thought babies were born with immunity. Isn’t that right?

Babies may be born with some immunity that is passed to them from their mothers. However, this immunity may not be strong enough to fight off certain diseases. What’s more, this type of immunity may only last up to a few weeks or months.

Vaccines help provide immunity. This is similar to what a person develops after an infection or disease, but without having to suffer from the disease. This kind of immunity can help give infants protection against potentially life-threatening disease. As your child grows, he or she may come into contact with different diseases than when they were younger. Because protection provided by some vaccines may wear off over time, it is important to follow a recommended immunization schedule.

 

Knowing the facts can help you feel confident about immunization.

 

Are vaccines safe?

Rest assured that vaccines are constantly monitored for safety. Safety monitoring and testing continue long after vaccines are licensed. Although no medical intervention is 100% safe, the risk of serious side effects from vaccines, such as severe allergic reactions, is very low. In reality, a child suffering from any of these vaccine-preventable diseases is in far more danger.

 

What side effects could my child experience?

Vaccines may cause redness or soreness at the injection site. Another side effect may be fever. Other side effects might occur. Talk with your doctor about what side effects might be expected after vaccination.

 

For more information about childhood immunity,
talk with your doctor.