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Safety & Prevention

Immunizations have helped children stay healthy for more than 50 years. They are safe and they work. In fact, serious side effects are no more common than those from other types of medication. Vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90%! Yet many parents still question their safety because of misinformation they’ve received. That’s why it’s important to turn to a reliable and trusted source, including your child’s doctor for information. The following are answers to common questions parents have about immunizations.

Q: What vaccines does my child need?

A: Your child needs all of the following immunizations to stay healthy:

  • Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines to help protect against serious liver diseases.
  • Rotavirus vaccine to help protect against the most common cause of diarrhea and vomiting in infants and young children (and the most common cause of hospitalizations in young infants due to vomiting and diarrhea).
  • DTaP vaccine to help protect against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Hib vaccine to help protect against Haemophilus influenzae type b (a cause of spinal meningitis).
  • Pneumococcal vaccine to help protect against bacterial meningitis and infections of the blood.
  • Polio vaccine to help protect against a crippling viral disease that can cause paralysis.
  • Influenza vaccine to help protect against the flu. This vaccine is recommended for all people beginning at 6 months and older
  • MMR vaccine to help protect against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles).
  • Varicella vaccine to help protect against chickenpox and its many complications including flesh-eating strep, staph toxic shock, and encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain).
  • Meningococcal vaccine to help protect against very serious bacterial diseases that affect the blood, brain, and spinal cord.
  • HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine to prevent viral infections in teens and adults that cause cancers of the mouth and throat, cervix, and genitals.  

Remember, vaccines definitely prevent diseases and save lives. It’s important to follow the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Contact your child’s doctor if you have any questions.

 

Last Updated
8/7/2013
Source
Immunizations: What You Need to Know (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 2/12)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.