These are the vaccines that your child needs if you live in the United States.
(Your doctor will determine the best vaccination and schedule for your child.)
Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA) Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB)
Hib vaccine Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
Influenza vaccine Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR)
Meningococcal vaccines Pneumococcal vaccine
Polio vaccine (IPV) Rotavirus vaccine
Some parents may hesitate to have their kids vaccinated because they’re worried that the children will have serious reactions or may get the illness the vaccine is supposed to prevent. Due to the vaccines being weakened or killed they are unlikely to cause any serious illness.
Are vaccines safe?
Yes, vaccines are very safe. The United States safety system insures that the vaccines are as safe as possible.
Are there side effects to the vaccines and how do I treat them?
Vaccines, like any medication, may cause some side effects but most are very minor such as soreness or a low grade fever where the shot was given. Serious reactions are very rare.
What are the risks and benefits of vaccines?
Without vaccines your child is at risk for getting seriously ill and suffering pain, disability and even death from diseases like measles and whooping cough. Serious side effects such as allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater that the possible side effects for almost all children.
Should I wait until my child goes to school to catch up on immunizations?
Children can be exposed to many vaccine- preventable vaccines from parents and other adults, brothers and sisters, on a plane, at child care, or even at the grocery store. Children under 5 are very susceptible to disease because their immune systems have not built up the necessary defenses to fight infection. Please do not wait to protect your baby and risk getting these diseases when he or she needs protection now.
FYI After 1974 Japan ceased vaccinating for whooping cough and by 1976 only 10% of infants were vaccinated. In 1979 suffered a major pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic, with more the 13,000 cases and 41 deaths. In 1981 the government began vaccinating with a cellular pertussis vaccine, and the number of pertussis cases dropped again.
We have eradicated the smallpox disease and if we keep vaccinating against other diseases the same may someday be true for them too.