Immunization FAQs

There are many questions that come with parenthood, especially when it comes to your child’s health. Immunizations are an essential part of keeping your child healthy as he or she grows, but many people have concerns about giving their children shots. We’re here to help. As your local option for preventative medicine, our goal is to educate, inform, and provide needed care.

Yes, immunizations are very safe. The United States currently has the safest supply of immunizations in its history. Millions of Americans of all ages safely receive immunizations every year.

Immunizations protect us against preventable diseases that were once very harmful and even deadly to babies, children, and adults. Without immunizations, your child is left vulnerable to these diseases, and can get seriously sick, suffer from pain, develop lifelong disabilities, and even die. The main risks of immunization are mild side effects that resolve on their own in a few days. Very rarely, serious side effects such as an allergic reaction can occur, but healthcare providers are trained to handle them. In the case of immunizations, the benefits of disease prevention far outweigh the minimal side effects.

No, scientific studies show repeatedly that there is no link between immunization and autism. For more information, see the CDC’s website about autism and immunizations.

Almost all medications cause side effects. Most of the side effects caused by immunization are very mild and usually resolve on their own in a few days and are easily treatable. These side effects can include soreness or redness where the shot was given, a mild fever, or being a little more tired than normal.

In short, no. Immunizations are not too much for your baby’s immune system to handle. Every day, a baby’s body successfully battles lots of germs. Germs have parts called antigens that the baby’s immune system recognizes as intruders and work to make antibodies to fight off diseases.

Immunizations also have antigens from germs, but these germs are weak or dead, so they can’t make the baby sick. Even if a baby gets many shots in a day, immunizations have only a tiny bit of antigens compared to what the baby encounters every day. immunizations help babies get the right antibodies to stay safe from harmful diseases they can catch.

The recommended immunization schedule starts young in order to provide them with protection when they’re most at risk to catching diseases and suffering serious, life-long side effects. The goal of the immunization schedule is to prepare children’s bodies to protect themselves before they’re exposed.

Check with your child’s healthcare provider, but mild illnesses shouldn’t keep your child from being able to receive potentially lifesaving protection from immunizations.

Children don’t receive any known benefits from following schedules that delay immunizations. If you wait or skip shots, young children are more likely to get sick from diseases during that time. It’s better to follow the recommended immunization schedule to keep them safe.

Young children can get very sick and even end up in the hospital or worse if they catch serious diseases. When you delay or space out their immunization, they are vulnerable during a time when they need protection the most. For instance, diseases like Hib or pneumococcus are most common in a baby’s first 2 years. Some diseases, like hepatitis B and whooping cough, are more dangerous for babies when they get them. It’s important to stick to the recommended immunization schedule to keep them safe.

Yes, even if a baby is breastfed, they still need to receive immunizations when they are supposed to get them. A baby’s immune system isn’t fully developed at birth, and this makes them more likely to get sick.

Breast milk does offer some protection against certain infections as a baby’s immune system is growing. For example, breastfed babies are less likely to get ear infections, breathing problems, and tummy troubles. But it’s important to know that breast milk can’t protect babies from all diseases. Even if a baby is breastfed, immunizations are the best way to stop many diseases from making them sick.

Even if young children stay at home, they can still get sick from diseases that immunizations can prevent, so it’s really important for them to get their shots when they’re supposed to. Babies and young children can catch these illnesses from different people or places, like their family, friends, or even at the park or store. Even if your child stays home, they still meet people who might have a disease that an immunization can protect against.

Some of these diseases can be especially dangerous for younger children. That’s why it’s best to get your child immunized as recommended.

No, even before starting school, young children can still catch diseases that immunizations can prevent. Kids under 5 years old are more likely to get sick because their immune systems are not strong enough to fight off infections yet.

Immunizations are important at every stage of life to keep us safe from serious diseases. As we grow up, the protection we got from childhood immunizations can fade away. So, teenagers need booster shots to make sure they’re still protected from diseases they were vaccinated against when they were younger.

Teens also need extra protection from infections like HPV and Meningitis before they are more likely to be exposed to these germs.

Making sure your child gets all the doses of each immunization is the best way to keep them safe. Some immunizations need more than one dose to make sure your child has a high enough immunity to fight off the disease. They may also need additional doses to help boost their protection when it starts to fade.

Sometimes, a child might need more than one dose to make sure they’re fully protected or with some immunizations like the flu shot, they may need repeated doses to stay safe because the germs change over time.

Every dose is really important because it helps shield your child from dangerous diseases, which can be especially serious for babies and very young kids.

Babies can get a little bit of protection from their mom in the last few weeks of pregnancy, but only for diseases that the mom is already immune to. Breastfeeding can also give the baby some temporary defense against small infections like colds. However, these protections don’t last very long, and the baby can still get sick from other diseases. Babies can also receive some protection from diseases like the flu if their moms receive immunizations while pregnant.

Some diseases that immunizations protect against, like whooping cough and chickenpox, are still common in the United States. On the other hand, thanks to immunizations, some diseases that immunizations protect against have become rare in this country. But, if we stop giving immunizations for rare diseases, the few cases we currently have could quickly turn into tens or even hundreds of thousands of cases.

Even though many serious immunization-preventable diseases are rare here, they are more common in other parts of the world. So, even if your family doesn’t travel internationally, you could still meet people from other countries in your own community. If kids don’t get all their immunizations and catch a disease, they can get very sick and spread it to others in the community.

Have more questions? Speak to a healthcare provider today.

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