How vaccines may help protect your child every step of the way
There are many ways to protect kids as they grow. Planning for vaccines is an important step you can take to help protect your child from up to 16 serious diseases by age 18.1 There can be many questions about when and why to schedule vaccines. Here, you'll find resources to help guide you on what you need to know about vaccines and how they work.
Ready to talk to your doctor?
Here's a list of questions to ask.
Get the facts. Gain immunity.
Here are a few of the most common questions related to child vaccinations.1
Yes, vaccines are very safe. Every licensed vaccine goes through years of safety testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure they are as safe as possible. Currently, the United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history. The most common side effects are typically very mild, such as pain or swelling at the injection site.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend parents have young children vaccinated while their immune systems are still developing, so they are able to build antibodies to protect themselves. The recommended schedule protects infants and children by providing immunity early in life, before they come into contact with life-threatening diseases.
Children get several vaccines up to their second birthday, but receiving multiple vaccines at one time does not overload the immune system. Children‘s immune systems are built to successfully fight off thousands of antigens at one time, and even multiple vaccines are fewer than what they are exposed to already, every day.
Serious side effects from vaccinations are extremely rare. Most side effects are mild (such as redness or swelling at the injection site) and go away within a few days.
Here are a few convenient options for determining which vaccines your child may be due for and when to vaccinate.
- View the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended child immunization schedule:
- Talk to your child’s doctor.
- Call the number on your health plan ID card to speak with a health professional.
- To learn more about all the recommended preventive care for your child, visit our preventive care page to get an age-appropriate checklist.
Protection for a lifetime
At every age, there are specific vaccinations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for children and teens. Below, you’ll find a list of which vaccinations are recommended for specific age groups.
Getting the right protection, right away
Starting vaccines from birth can help protect your child against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Pneumococcal, Tetanus, Influenza, Mumps, Measles and Varicella.
Protection that grows as they do
Continue with important vaccinations that protect against Pertussis, Mumps, Measles, and Varicella. Also, your child will continue to receive Flu shots yearly.
Preparing for their teen years
Preteen vaccinations can help protect against HPV, Meningitis, and Mononucleosis. Also, your child will continue to receive Flu shots yearly.
For immunity into adulthood.
Continuing recommended vaccines and annual Flu shot through age 18 can help your child stay healthy.
Take the next step
Whether you’re looking for more information or ready to schedule an appointment, here’s some help to take the next step.
Questions to ask your doctor about vaccines
View preventive care guidelines
Find a doctor
Back to school time is a good yearly reminder to check on child immunizations
Watch to learn why it's important to visit the doctor every year and be sure your child's vaccinations are up to date.
Start up school with a checkup
Certain preventive care services, including immunizations, are provided as specified by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), with no cost-sharing to you. These services are based on your age and other health factors. Some plans may require copayments, deductibles and/or coinsurance for these benefits. Always review to your plan documents to determine your specific coverage.