Immunizations

You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations?

Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio is one example of the great impact that vaccines had have in the United States. Polio was once America’s most-feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States.

Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

CDC Immunization Schedules

Detailed Vaccine Information

Diptheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTaP)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • DIPHTHERIA causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
  • TETANUS (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in up to 2 out of 10 cases.
  • PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks. It can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring spells), brain damage, and death.
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTaP) can help prevent these diseases. Most children who are vaccinated with DTaP will be protected throughout childhood.

Hepatitis A

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A can cause: “flu-like” illness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes, dark urine), and severe stomach pains and diarrhea (children). The Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Hepatitis B is a serious infection that affects the liver. Hepatitis B can cause short-term and long-term illness. Short-term symptoms include loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, tiredness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), and pain in muscles, joints, and stomach. Some people go on to develop chronic hepatitis B infection. Most of them do not have symptoms, but the infection is still very serious, and can lead to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and death. Chronic infection is more common among infants and children than among adults.

Haemophilus influenzae type B (HiB)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (HiB) disease is a serious disease caused by a bacteria. It usually strikes children under 5 years old. Before Hib vaccine, Hib disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children under 5 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings, which can lead to lasting brain damage and deafness.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. More than half of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives. Most HPV infections don’t cause any symptoms, and go away on their own. But HPV can cause cervical cancer in women. Cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women around the world.

Influenza Vaccine (Live)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease. It is caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions. Anyone can get influenza, but rates of infection are highest among children. By getting flu vaccine you can protect yourself from influenza and may also avoid spreading it to others. Live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) contains live but attenuated (weakened) influenza virus. It is sprayed into the nostrils.

Influenza Vaccine (Inactivated)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Influenza (“flu”) is a contagious disease. It is caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions. Anyone can get influenza, but rates of infection are highest among children. By getting flu vaccine you can protect yourself from influenza and may also avoid spreading it to others. Inactivated (killed) vaccine, the “flu shot,” is given by injection with a needle.

Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. It can lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring), brain damage, and death.
  • Mumps virus causes fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen glands. It can lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and rarely sterility.
  • Rubella (German Measles) virus causes rash, arthritis (mostly in women), and mild fever. If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect children (and adults) from all three of these diseases. Thanks to successful vaccination programs these diseases are much less common in the U.S. than they used to be. But if we stopped vaccinating they would return.

Meningococcal

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and the spinal cord. Meningococcal disease also causes blood infections. About 1,000 – 1,200 people get meningococcal disease each year in the U.S. Even when they are treated with antibiotics, 10-15% of these people die. Of those who live, another 11%-19% lose their arms or legs, have problems with their nervous systems, become deaf or mentally retarded, or suffer seizures or strokes. Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is most common in infants less than one year of age and people 16-21 years. This is why preventing the disease through use of meningococcal vaccine is important for people at highest risk.

Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria can make children very sick. It causes blood infections, pneumonia, and meningitis, mostly in young children. Although pneumococcal meningitis is relatively rare, it is fatal in about 1 of 10 cases in children. Pneumococcal meningitis can also lead to other health problems, including deafness and brain damage. Children younger than 2 years of age are at higher risk for serious disease than older children. Pneumococcal infections may be hard to treat because some strains of the bacteria have become resistant to the drugs that are used to treat them. This makes prevention of pneumococcal infections through vaccination even more important.

Polio

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Polio is a disease caused by a virus. It enters the body through the mouth. Usually it does not cause serious illness. But sometimes it causes paralysis (can’t move arm or leg), and it can cause meningitis (irritation of the lining of the brain). It can kill people who get it, usually by paralyzing the muscles that help them breathe. Polio used to be very common in the United States. It paralyzed and killed thousands of people a year before we had a vaccine.
  • Polio has been eliminated from the United States. But the disease is still common in some parts of the world. It would only take one person infected with polio virus coming from another country to bring the disease back here if we were not protected by vaccine. If the effort to eliminate the disease from the world is successful, some day we won’t need polio vaccine. Until then, we need to keep getting our children vaccinated.

Rotavirus

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Rotavirus is a virus that causes diarrhea (some­ times severe), mostly in babies and young children. It is often accompanied by vomiting and fever, and can lead to dehydration. Better hygiene and sanitation have not reduced rotavirus diarrhea very much in the United States. The best way to protect your baby from rotavirus disease is with rotavirus vaccine.

Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis (Tdap)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • DIPHTHERIA causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
  • TETANUS (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in up to 2 out of 10 cases.
  • PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks. It can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring spells), brain damage, and death.
  • Children 6 years of age and younger get DTaP vaccine to protect them from these three diseases. But older children, adolescents, and adults need protection too.Tdap vaccine was licensed in 2005. It is the irst vaccine for adolescents and adults that protects against pertussis as well as tetanus and diphtheria.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

  • Vaccine Information Sheet
  • Chickenpox (also called varicella) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults. Chickenpox vaccine can prevent chickenpox. Most people who get chickenpox vaccine will not get chickenpox. But if someone who has been vaccinated does get chickenpox, it is usually very mild. They will have fewer blisters, are less likely to have a fever, and will recover faster.