Don’t risk your child’s health — vaccinate

Know the facts — immunizations protect children from dangerous diseases

It’s a well-documented fact: Childhood is safer today thanks to vaccines.

From pertussis to polio, many diseases that once led to disability and death are now much less common, if they occur at all.

According to Vaccines.govOpens a new window, continuing to vaccinate — and making sure kids stay up to date — may help keep those illnesses at bay, now and for a long time to come.

Three levels of defense

Childhood vaccines offer protection in three ways:

1. They help safeguard your child from serious or life-threatening diseases.

2. They help protect others who come into contact with your child. That includes babies who are too young to be fully immunized and people with weakened immunity.

3. They help prevent regional outbreaks of diseases. These can spread quickly among those who aren’t protected.

What to expect: From 0 to 6 years

Between birth and 6 years old, children receive a variety of vaccines, including those for:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria
  • Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Influenza (yearly flu shots)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pneumonia
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus
  • Whooping cough

For effectiveness, many vaccines are given in multiple doses over a period of months or years. See the full schedule of vaccines for young children.Opens a new window

What to expect: From 7 to 18 years

As kids get older, they need fewer vaccines. But the ones they do need are important. They offer protection against conditions such as

  • Diphtheria
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Influenza (yearly flu shots)
  • Meningitis
  • Tetanus
  • Whooping cough

This is also a time to catch up on any vaccines missed at earlier ages. See the full schedule of vaccines for older children and teens.Opens a new window

Read more about HPV and cancer: What everyone should know.

What to do next

Make sure your kids see the doctor for regular checkups. That’s the best way to be sure they stay up to date on the vaccines and other preventive careOpens a new window they need.*

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