Children need vaccinations to protect them from dangerous childhood diseases. Most childhood vaccines are 90% to 99% effective in preventing disease which can have serious complications and even kill children. Making sure your child has all of their vaccinations can protect them.
Children under five are especially susceptible to disease because their immune systems have not built up the necessary defenses to fight infection. By immunizing on time (by age two), you can protect your child from disease and also protect others at school or daycare.
Although vaccines may have mild side effects, and more rarely, serious complications, in general it is safe to immunize your child. Side effects can occur with any medicine, including vaccines. Depending on the vaccine, these can include: slight fever, rash or soreness at the site of injection. Slight discomfort is normal and should not be a cause for alarm.
A vaccination health record helps you and your healthcare provider keep your child's vaccinations on schedule. If you move or change providers, having an accurate record might prevent your child from repeating vaccinations he or she has already had. A shot record should be started when your child receives his or her first vaccination and updated with each vaccination visit.
The immunizations that children should receive are:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTP) Immunizations
- Hepatitis B (HBV) Immunizations
- H. Influenzae type b (HIB) Immunizations
- Inactivated Polio (IPV) Immunizations
- Influenza Immunizations
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Immunizations
- Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) Immunizations
- Varicella (Chickenpox) Immunizations
- Hepatitis A (HAV) Immunizations
- Rotavirus Immunizations
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a vaccination schedule that lists the ages (or age ranges) for when each vaccine or series of shots is to be given.