Children need immunizations (shots) to protect them from dangerous childhood diseases. These diseases can have serious complications and even kill children.
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 day care.
A shot record should be started when your child receives his/her first vaccination and updated with each vaccination visit.
Like any medicine, there may be minor side effects.
Side effects can occur with any medicine, including vaccines. Depending on the vaccine, these can include: slight fever, rash, or soreness at the site of injection.
Slight discomfort is normal and should not be a cause for alarm. Your health care provider can give you additional information.
What to do if your child has a serious reaction.
If you think your child is experiencing a persistent or severe reaction, call your doctor or get the child to a doctor.
There are programs set up for children eligible for free vaccinations.
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 does not cover vaccines may go to Federally Qualified Health Clinics or Rural Health Centers.
More information is available.
General immunization questions can be answered by the CDC Contact Center at 1-800-CDC-INFO or (1-800-232-4636) for English and Español.