Plain Talk About Childhood Immunizations (PDF)
Childhood immunizations are a safe and effective way to keep kids from getting these 15 serious and sometimes deadly diseases:
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Hepatitis A
In the last 50 years, vaccines have helped to nearly wipe out measles, diphtheria, and polio.
Vaccines strengthen the immune system by helping the body to recognize and fight the viruses and bacteria that cause disease.
Eating nutritious food, drinking clean water, good sanitation, and good hygiene (like consistent handwashing), also help stop disease. However, even in the cleanest places, the viruses and bacteria that cause disease and death still exist.
Vaccine side effects are very rare. A child's risk of having a health problem from an immunization is much less than his or her risk of suffering from the disease itself.
Vaccines not only protect the child who receives the immunization, but they also protect those who:
- Have weakened immune systems.
- Cannot get shots because of a medical condition or because they are too young or too old.
- Are not fully immunized.
The best way to protect our kids and community is to vaccinate kids, especially from birth to two years of age.
There are national governmental databases that watch out for potential problems with vaccines. These vaccine surveillance systems are in place to identify potential issues with vaccines.
As science progresses, new vaccines are discovered that will help protect babies and children from diseases.