Infants and Children Immunizations
Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very serious, may require hospitalization, or even be deadly – especially in infants and young children. Immunizations have had an enormous impact on improving the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a child, a family, or community. While these diseases are not common in the U.S., they persist around the world. It is important that we continue to protect our children with vaccines because outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like pertussis, mumps, and measles can and do occur in this country. See the recommended immunizations and vaccinations here: Schedule for Infants and Children Birth – 6 Years Old. For a download and printable child immunization log, CLICK HERE.
Preteens and teens are at risk for diseases and need the protection of vaccines to keep them healthy. The vaccines for preteens and teens are important because as kids get older, protection from some childhood vaccines begins to wear off and some vaccines work better when given during adolescence. There are many opportunities for vaccination, so take advantage of health check-ups, sports, or camp physicals to ensure teens receive the recommended vaccines. See the recommended immunizations and vaccinations here: Schedule for Teens and Pre-Teens 7-18 Years Old. For a download and printable teen immunization log, CLICK HERE.
Your need for immunizations doesn’t end when you become an adult. Immunity from childhood vaccinations can wear off and you may be at risk for new and different diseases. Also, vaccines and their recommendations may change over the years and certain vaccines may not have been available when you were a child.
Throughout your adult life, you need immunizations for protection against:
- Seasonal influenza (flu) for all adults
- Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) for all adults who have not previously received a Tdap vaccine
- Shingles for adults 60 years and older
- Pneumococcal for adults 65 years and older and adults with risk conditions
- Hepatitis B for adults who have diabetes or are at risk
- Other vaccinations you might need include those that protect against HPV (human papillomavirus, which can cause certain cancers), hepatitis A, meningococcal disease, chickenpox (varicella), and measles, mumps, and rubella.
Influenza and pneumonia vaccine are offered routinely, according to CDC recommendations, for a charge. Other adult vaccines may be offered with a physician prescription. See the recommended immunizations and vaccines for adults here: Schedule for Adults 19+. Learn more by reviewing the recommended immunization schedule or talking to your doctor. For a download and printable adult immunization log, CLICK HERE.
Did you know that your baby gets disease immunity (protection) from you during pregnancy? This immunity will protect your baby from some diseases during the first few months of life, but immunity decreases over time. Babies need to be vaccinated starting at birth to stay protected against 14 serious and potentially life threatening diseases.
Vaccines can help keep you and your growing family healthy. If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the specific vaccinations you need are determined by factors such as your age, lifestyle, medical conditions you may have, such as asthma or diabetes, type and locations of travel, gestation of pregnancy, and previous vaccinations. See the Immunization and Pregnancy Vaccines Flyer from the CDC, which shows the vaccines you may need before, during, and after pregnancy.
If possible, make sure that your immunizations are up to date before becoming pregnant. Learn more by reviewing the recommended immunization schedule or talking to your doctor. Some vaccine-preventable diseases, such as rubella, can pose a serious risk to your health and that of your developing baby. But, you can’t get the vaccine to prevent rubella if you are currently pregnant.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. During recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community. For more information, visit the CDC’s Flu Website.
Regardless of your itinerary, make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly seasonal flu shot. Additional vaccines may be recommended based on the location you plan to visit. For more specific information and to find out which vaccines are recommended/required, visit the CDC Traveler’s Health website.
Enjoy your vacation! Know Before You Go Information
Protect your family from Zika!
Know before you go: Learn about Zika at cdc.gov/zika. Check CDC Travelers’ Health:cdc.gov/travel
- Pack to prevent
- Protect yourself
- STOP the spread
- Zika symptoms
Pregnant? Trying to conceive?
Zika is linked to birth defects. Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to any area with Zika. If your male partner travels to these areas, either use condoms or don’t have sex for the rest of your pregnancy. If you are trying to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about your plans.
10 Reasons To Be Vaccinated
|1. Vaccine-preventable diseases haven’t gone away.
The viruses and bacteria that cause illness and death still exist and can be passed on to those who are not protected by vaccines. In a time when people can travel across the globe in just one day, it’s not hard to see just how easily diseases can travel too.
|2. Vaccines will help keep you healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccinations throughout your life to protect against many infections. When you skip vaccines, you leave yourself vulnerable to illnesses such as shingles, pneumococcal disease, influenza, and HPV and hepatitis B, both leading causes of cancer.
|3. Vaccines are as important to your overall health as diet and exercise.
Like eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting regular check-ups, vaccines play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Vaccines are one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available.
|4. Vaccination can mean the difference between life and death.
Vaccine-preventable infections are dangerous. Every year, approximately 50,000 US adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases in the US.
|5. Vaccines are safe.
The US has the best post-licensure surveillance system in the world making vaccines extremely safe. There is extraordinarily strong data from many different medical investigators all pointing to the safety of vaccines. In fact, vaccines are among the safest products in all of medicine.
|6. Vaccines won’t give you the disease they are designed to prevent.
You cannot “catch” the disease from the vaccine. Some vaccines contain “killed” virus, and it is impossible to get the disease from them. Others have live, but weakened, viruses designed to ensure that you cannot catch the disease.
|7. Young and healthy people can get very sick, too.
Infants and the elderly are at a greater risk for serious infections and complications in many cases, but vaccine-preventable diseases can strike anyone. If you’re young and healthy, getting vaccinated can help you stay that way.
|8. Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive.
An average influenza illness can last up to 15 days, typically with five or six missed work days. Adults who get hepatitis A lose an average of one month of work.
|9. When you get sick, your children, grandchildren and parents are at risk, too.
A vaccine-preventable disease that might make you sick for a week or two could prove deadly for your children, grandchildren, or parents if it spreads to them. When you get vaccinated, you’re protecting yourself and your family. For example, adults are the most common source of pertussis (whooping cough) infection in infants, which can be deadly in infants. In 2010 alone, 25 US infants died from whooping cough.
|10. Your family and coworkers need you.
In the US each year, millions of adults get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases, causing them to miss work and leaving them unable to care for those who depend on them, including their children and/or aging parents.