Why kids need vaccines

How to help protect kids from 16 potentially serious diseases

You’ve always wanted to do all you could to make sure your kids stay safe and healthy.

Keeping up with their immunizations is an important way to do that.

How vital are vaccines? They may help protect kids from up to 16 different diseases by the time they turn 18.

Be their best defense

We’re talking about rare diseases, right? Not necessarily. Flu season hits yearly — and may be particularly dangerous for small children. In the U.S., outbreaks of mumps crop up regularly too. And over the past few years, whooping cough, or pertussis, has made an appearance in every state.1

Other diseases, like polio, no longer occur in the U.S. — thanks to vaccines. But they may still be brought in from other countries.1

 Vaccines are a safe and effective way to help prevent

  • Cervical cancer
  • Chickenpox
  • Hepatitis
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Rubella (German measles)

Rare or common, all of these diseases may be dangerous. So it’s important to guard against them.

Who needs what — and when?

At various ages, there are specific vaccines that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for children and teens. Making sure kids get vaccines on schedule is the safest way to protect them.

Some vaccines, like the flu shot, are needed every year after kids reach 6 months old. In some cases, booster shots are also advised. They help kids maintain their protection against certain diseases.

Your child’s doctor can help you know which vaccines your kids need — and when.

What to do next

Want to know more? Learn more about immunizations and find the answers to these common questions:

  1. Are vaccines safe for young children?
  2. Can I delay my child’s vaccinations?
  3. Will too many vaccines overwhelm a baby’s immune system?
  4. Do vaccines have side effects?
  5. How do I know when to vaccinate my child?


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention