Vaccinations are given to allow a child’s body to build up immunities to certain diseases, illnesses, or viruses which could greatly harm his or her health, or even cause death. Vaccinations are required by law for children who attend public and private schools and child care facilities. However, religious or medical exemptions may be allowed in certain situations.

What type of vaccinations are available?

  • DtaP– Protects the child against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis, or whooping cough.
  • IPV– Protects the child from polio.
  • HIB– Protects the child from Haemophilus influenza type B.
  • MMR– Protects the child from measles, mumps and rubella.
  • Pheumo– Protects the child from contracting diseases cause by Streptococcus pneumoniae.
  • CPOX– Protects the child from contracting chicken pox.
  • Td– This is a booster shot to protect the child from Tetanus and Diphtheria.
  • Hepatitis B– This protects the child from contracting Hepatitis B.

When are vaccinations given?

  • Birth: Hepatitis B
  • One Month of Age: Hepatitis B
  • Two Months of Age: DtaP, IPV, HIB, Pneumo
  • Four Months of Age: DtaP, IPV, HIB, Pneumo
  • Six Months of Age: Dtap, HIB, Pneumo
  • Nine Months of Age: Hepatitis B
  • Twelve Months of Age: MMR, CPOX, Pneumo
  • Fifteen Months of Age: DtaP, IPV, HIB
  • Pre-School: Dtap, IPV, HIB
  • Td booster should be given every ten years thereafter.

A child who has had chicken pox is already considered immune. Caregivers may have to show proof of the child having had chicken pox to a school or child care facility if the child has not received the CPOX vaccination.

Where can I get my child vaccinated?

Your child can receive his or her vaccinations at the child’s Pediatrician’s office, or at a local County Health Department. Some drug stores like CVS also offer vaccinations.

Will my child get sick or have side effects from vaccinations?

You will be given information about the vaccinations your child will receive prior to him or her being injected. The information sheet you will be given will list any possible side effects or risk of illness your child may experience. You will have to sign a consent form allowing your child to be vaccinated.

The most common side effect reported from vaccinations is redness or swelling at the injection site, and a slight fever after the DtaP vaccine, however this usually subsides within a few days.

Community immunity

When enough people are vaccinated against a certain disease, the germs can’t travel as easily from person to person — and the entire community (even people who are not vaccinated or have weak immune systems) is less likely to get the disease.

Community immunity is especially important for people can’t get vaccinated for certain diseases — such as people with some serious allergies and those with weakened or failing immune systems (like people who have cancer, HIV/AIDS, type 1 diabetes, or other serious health conditions). Community immunity is also important for the very small group of people who don’t have a strong immune response from vaccines.