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10 Things You Should Know About Vaccinations

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vaccinate to prevent Child illness1. "Why should my child be immunized?"

Children need immunizations (shots) to protect them from dangerous childhood diseases. These diseases can have serious complications and even kill children.

2. "What diseases do childhood vaccines prevent?"

Measles
Mumps
Polio
Rubella (German Measles)
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Diphtheria
Tetanus (Lockjaw)
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib disease - a major cause of bacterial meningitis)
Hepatitis B shots
Varicella (chickenpox)
Pneumococcal disease (causes bacterial meningitis and blood infections)

3. "How many shots does my child need?"

The following vaccinations are recommended by age two and can be given over five visits to a doctor or clinic:

  • 4 doses of diphtheria, tetanus & pertussis vaccine (DTaP)
  • 3-4 doses of Hib vaccine (depending on the brand used)
  • 4 doses of pneumococcal vaccine
  • 3 doses of polio vaccine
  • 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine
  • 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine
  • 1 dose of measles, mumps & rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • 2-3 doses of rotavirus vaccine (depending on the brand used)
  • 1 dose of varicella vaccine
  • 2-3 doses of influenza vaccine (6 months and older) (number of doses depends on child's birthday)

4. "Do these vaccines have any side effects?"

Any vaccine can cause side effects. For the most part these are minor (for example, a sore arm or low-grade fever) and go away within a few days.
For more information on possible side effects visit the CDC.

5. "Can they cause serious reactions?"

Yes, but serious reactions to vaccines are extremely rare. The risks of serious disease from not vaccinating are far greater than the risks of serious reaction to a vaccination.

6. "What do I do if my child has a serious reaction?"

If you think your child is experiencing a persistent or severe reaction

sick Fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit,

prevention Lethary or extreme fatigue,

shots Rash,

vaccine Child is crying excessively, or

Vaccination Not behaving like him/herself or acting sick,

Call your doctor or get the child to a doctor/hospital right away. Write down what happened and the date and time it happened. Ask your doctor, nurse or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Report form or call 1-800-338-2382 to file this form yourself.

7. "Why can't I wait until school to have my child immunized?"

Children under 5 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 2), you can protect your child from disease and also protect others at school or daycare.

8. "Why is a vaccination health record important?"

A vaccination health record helps you and your health care 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/her first vaccination and updated with each vaccination visit.

9. "Where can I get free vaccines?"

A federal program called Vaccines for Children provides free vaccines to eligible children, including those without health insurance coverage, all those who are enrolled in Medicaid, American Indians and Alaskan Natives and those whose health insurance dues does not cover vaccines and go to Federally Qualified Health Clinics or Rural Health Centers.

10. "Where can I get more information?"

General immunization questions can be answered by
The CDC Contact Center at 1-800-CDC-INFO
(1-800-232-4636)
English and Español

Questions about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases frequently asked by people calling the TTY Service Hotline at
1-888-232-6348 (TTY hotline)
http://www.vaccines.ashastd.org/ttyservice.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Immunization Program

Robyn's Nest Related Articles:
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10 reasons to vaccinate your child- Robyn's Nest ~ the parenting network

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