1. Immunizations

Rotavirus Vaccine: What You Need to Know

​​​Why get vaccinated?

Rotavirus vaccine can prevent rotavirus disease.

Rotavirus causes diarrhea, mostly in babies and young children. The diarrhea can be severe, and lead to dehydration​. Vomiting and fever are also common in babies with rotavirus.

Rotavirus vaccine

Rotavirus vaccine is administered by putting drops in the child’s mouth. Babies should get 2 or 3 doses of rotavirus vaccine, depending on the brand of vaccine used.

  • The first dose must be administered before 15 weeks of age.
  • The last dose must be administered by 8 months of age.

Almost all babies who get rotavirus vaccine will be protected from severe rotavirus diarrhea.

Another virus called porcine circovirus (or parts of it) can be found in rotavirus vaccine. This virus does not infect people, and there is no known safety risk. For more information.

Rotavirus vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Before the vaccine was available

Before rotavirus vaccine, rotavirus disease was a common and serious health problem for children in the United States. Almost all children in the United States had at least one rotavirus infection before their 5th birthday. Each year, tens of thousands ​had to be hospitalized, and some died.​

Talk with your health care provider

Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:

  • Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of rotavirus vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.
  • Has a weakened immune system.
  • Has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).
  • Has had a type of bowel blockage called intussusception.

In some cases, your child’s health care provider may decide to postpone rotavirus vaccination to a future visit.

Infants with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. Infants who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting rotavirus vaccine.

Your child’s health care provider can give you more information.

​Risks of a vaccine reaction

Irritability or mild, temporary diarrhea or vomiting can happen after rotavirus vaccine.

There is also a small risk of intussusception from rotavirus vaccination, usually within a week after the first or second vaccine dose. Intussusception is a type of bowel blockage that is treated in a hospital and could require surgery. It happens naturally in some infants every year in the United States, and usually there is no known reason for it.  This additional risk is estimated to range from about 1 in 20,000 US infants to 1 in 100,000 US infants who get rotavirus vaccine. Your health care provider can give you more information.

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.

What if there is a serious problem?

For intussusception, look for signs of stomach pain along with severe crying. Early on, these episodes could last just a few minutes and come and go several times in an hour. Babies might pull their legs up to their chest. Your baby might also vomit several times or have blood in the stool, or could appear weak or very irritable. These signs would usually happen during the first week after the first or second dose of rotavirus vaccine, but look for them any time after vaccination. If you think your baby has intussusception, contact a health care provider right away. If you can’t reach your health care provider, take your baby to a hospital. Tell them when your baby got rotavirus vaccine.

An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital. For other signs that concern you, call your health care provider.

Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your health care provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website or call 1-800-822-7967VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice.

1. Immunizations

Protecting Your Baby from a Measles Outbreak FAQs

Protecting Your Baby from a Measles Outbreak FAQs

Measles is wildly contagious. How worried should parents be if their baby is too young for the vaccine? Nearly 1 out of every 3 children under the age of 5 who catches measles ends up in the hospital. Are some babies at a greater risk? What, if anything, can parents do to protect their little ones?  

Here are some answers from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

How soon can my baby get the measles vaccine?

The recommended age for the first dose of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is 12 to 15 months of age. If you live in a community experiencing an outbreak, or if you travel internationally, your baby may be vaccinated as early as 6 months of age. Talk with your pediatrician if this applies to you.

Babies who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose at least 28 days later).

My baby is too young for the vaccine. Is there anything I can do to protect her?

Wash your hands! Just as you would to prevent germs at any time, use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Remind others in your home or anyone who is near your baby to do the same.

Other things that can help:

  • Limit your baby’s exposure to crowds, other children, and anyone with colds.
  • Go germ-free. Disinfect objects and surfaces in your home regularly.
  • Feed your baby breastmilk. It has unique antibodies to prevent and fight infections.

Remember, the measles virus can live for two hours on a surface or suspended in the air.

How likely is it that my baby will catch the measles?

The risk posed to you and your family largely depends on where you live and the percentage of your community who have been vaccinated against measles. Check with your state or local health department for updates on the number of measles cases near you. If you have older children, check their schools’ vaccination rates. Keep in mind that not all states require child care centers to disclose vaccination rates, but it is worth asking.

Babies at a greater risk for catching measles include:

  • Ones under 12 months who have not received the measles vaccine.
  • Ones in a child care setting or living in crowded living conditions.
  • Ones with older siblings.
  • Ones who are not breastfed.
If you are planning an international trip, consider your baby’s age.Babies less than 6 months old who are too young to be vaccinated may still have some protection from the antibodies from their mother (see How Do Vaccines Work). However, if you are traveling with an infant under 6 months of age to a place with a significant number of measles cases reported, it is worth considering delaying travel as measles can still be very severe in these young infants.Babies 6 to 11 months old should receive the MMR vaccine (and the hepatitis A vaccine), but still require two doses of vaccine at age 12 months or older. Babies 12 months and older should receive their first dose of MMR vaccine in addition to the other vaccines recommended at that age. Infants 12 months and older may also receive a second dose of the MMR vaccine as soon as 28 days after the first dose.

What are the signs and symptoms of measles in babies?

Infants and children can be contagious four days before they even show any symptoms!

Measles typically starts like a bad cold with symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). A rash then starts to develop on the head and spreads down to the rest of the body. Many children also get ear infections.

While the main symptoms of measles are bad enough, the reason we vaccinate against measles are to prevent the complications associated with it―such as pneumonia and encephalitis (an infection of the brain).

What is the outlook for a child who gets measles?

Not good. In the US, 1-2 out of every 1,000 children who get measles die from it. A similar number of children suffer from encephalitis and many go on to have long-term brain damage. The disease is even more severe in developing countries, where as many as 1 out of 3 children who get measles die from it.

Why don’t babies get the MMR shot sooner?

The MMR vaccine is a live vaccine, which means it contains weakened forms of the viruses. In order to work, those weakened forms of the virus need to multiply to create an immune response. Since the natural protection newborns get from their moms wears off gradually over a period of months, the viruses may not be able to multiply the way they would when the baby is a little older. That’s why we recommend the first dose of the MMR starting at 12 months of age. Not because it’s too dangerous but because that’s the age at which the vaccine works best.

What about pregnant moms?

Most women of child-bearing age have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella―and therefore are protected against these diseases.

If for some reason a pregnant woman was not previously vaccinated against measles, she cannot receive the MMR vaccine until after delivery. This is because the MMR vaccine is prepared with weakened live viruses (in contrast to many vaccines that are prepared with killed viruses), so doctors usually advise avoiding pregnancy for at least one month after receiving the vaccine to reduce the risk of becoming infected.

If a non-immune pregnant woman she is exposed to measles, it may cause health problems to both her and her unborn baby. In a CDC study, the most common effect to the mothers was pneumonia and the most common fetal/neonatal effect was premature delivery. If she is exposed within 10 days of delivery, she is likely to cause a serious infection in her newborn at birth.

Do parents and grandparents need a booster MMR shot?

Anyone born before 1957 is generally considered immune to measles. This means they are fully protected from measles for life and no additional vaccination is necessary.  

The CDC also considers people who received two doses of measles vaccine as children protected for life, and they do not ever need a booster dose.

If you’re unsure whether you’re immune to measles, you should first try to find your vaccination records or documentation of measles immunity. If you do not have written documentation of measles immunity, you should get the MMR vaccine. There is no harm in getting another dose of MMR vaccine if you may already be immune to measles (or mumps or rubella).

1. Immunizations

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine: What You Need to Know

​Why get vaccinated?

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) can prevent pneumococcal disease.

Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. Pneumococcal bacteria are one of the most common causes of pneumonia.

Besides pneumonia, pneumococcal bacteria can also cause:

  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord)
  • Bacteremia (bloodstream infection)

Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but children under 2 years of age, people with certain medical conditions, adults 65 years or older, and cigarette smokers are at the highest risk.

Most pneumococcal infections are mild. However, some can result in long-term problems, such as brain damage or hearing loss. Meningitis, bacteremia, and pneumonia caused by pneumococcal disease can be fatal.

PCV13 vaccine

PCV13 protects against 13 types of bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease.

Infants and young children usually need 4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, at 2, 4, 6, and 12–15 months of age. In some cases, a child might need fewer than 4 doses to complete PCV13 vaccination.

A dose of PCV13 is also recommended for anyone 2 years or older with certain medical conditions if they did not already receive PCV13.

Talk with your health care provider

Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine: has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of PCV13, to an earlier pneumococcal conjugate vaccine known as PCV7, or to any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid (for example, DTaP), or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.

In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone PCV13 vaccination to a future visit.

People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting PCV13 .

Your health care provider can give you more information.

Risks of a vaccine reaction

  • Redness, swelling, pain, or tenderness where the shot is given, and fever, loss of appetite, fussiness (irritability), feeling tired, headache, and chills can happen after PCV13.
  • Young children may be at increased risk for seizures caused by fever after PCV13 if it is administered at the same time as inactivated influenza vaccine. Ask your health care provider for more information.
  • People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
  • As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.

What if there is a serious problem?

An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.

For other signs that concern you, call your health care provider.

Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your health care provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website or call 1-800-822-7967VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice.

1. Immunizations

Peds ER Doc Sees Children and Teens with Preventable Infectious Diseases

Each day in the pediatric emergency department, I treat children arriving with a wide range of injuries and illnesses. The cases that are sometimes hardest to deal with are the most preventable ones, like the girl ejected from her family’s car during a crash because she wasn’t in a car seat.

Seeing a child suffer is never easy—especially when it could have been prevented.

Cases of Measles & Pertussis: All Preventable

I recently treated a kindergartener with measles, which is preventable through vaccination. The child, who hadn’t been immunized because of his family’s cultural beliefs, had a fever that had lasted for four days and was covered head to toe in a painful rash. He felt miserable and was refusing to eat or drink anything. We read about these classic symptoms in medical school, of course, along with possible complications that include loss of hearing, permanent brain damage, and even death. But because immunizations had all but eliminated measles from the United States until recent years, most of us—including the infectious disease specialists called in—had never actually seen a child with the disease.

Another patient I treated had pertussis (also known as whooping cough), another infectious disease that can be prevented through immunization. The teenage boy, who also had asthma, was taking his medication and doing his breathing treatments, but none of it was helping. His cough had become so intense and uncontrollable. He was literally unable to catch his breath and turning blue. In between the distinctive, high-pitched “whoops” sounds of trying to force air through, he was vomiting violently.  

As was the case with the measles patient, this was the first child many of us had treated with pertussis—a disease that killed roughly 8,000 people a year in the United States before a vaccine was developed. Unfortunately, though, we’ve seen several other cases of whooping cough in our department since then.

All preventable.

Immunizations: The Greatest Success Stories in Modern Medicine

Vaccines, which prevent dangerous and deadly diseases by strengthening the body’s own natural defenses to fight off germs that cause infection, are the greatest success stories in modern medicine.

When many of today’s grandparents were young, diseases like measles, whooping cough, polio, H. influenzae and rubella sickened and killed millions of people across the in the United States. The safe and effective vaccines now available have significantly reduced or completely eliminated many serious and deadly infectious diseases. But immunizations only work if people get them.

As we’ve seen in recent years, when parents don’t vaccinate their children, diseases regain a foothold in communities and outbreaks return.

Parent to Parent

Like the parents whose children I treat, I, too want to keep my own children healthy and safe. Immunizations are one of the most important and proven ways we can accomplish this.

My 8-year-old daughter was alarmed recently when her baby sister was getting her 6-month immunizations. She was so worried the shots would hurt her sister that she had to leave the room. Afterward, we talked about how vaccines keep us well and read a story book about Louis Pasteur, whose work paved the way for vaccinations.

She now understands that a pin-prick moment of discomfort, eased by a reassuring hug, can lead to a lifetime of well-being.

1. Immunizations

Pediatrician Remembers a Measles Outbreak Among the Amish


Starting our pediatric practice in the 1978, my husband and I joked we ran an infectious disease practice. Our days and nights seemed filled with patients with very serious conditions, including epiglottitis, meningitis, and chickenpox among others—which have now largely disappeared from pediatric practices due to the success of immunizations.

Some of our most difficult patients were those infected with a bacterium commonly known as Hib (short for Haemophilus influenzae type B). When we saw a child infected with Haemophilus influenzae, it was always an emergency. The child could experience a number of conditions and all of them could be lethal. All these children were hospitalized, and in the case of epiglottitis, which is a common complication of Hib, they went directly to the operating room.

Epiglottitis is the swelling of the epiglottis, which can close the airway and, of course, kill a child quickly. Antibiotics to treat the infection don’t work fast enough, so treatment moves quickly toward tracheostomy or intubation, which were hard to do on such small patients with severe swelling of the airway and traumatic for the child.

These cases were very scary; they literally kept me up at night. I feared the late-night calls from parents who told me their children were suffering with croup, because it might really be epiglottitis. More than once, I escorted a parent and toddler from my waiting room to my car to personally drive them to the ER to perform the spinal tap for meningitis.

I saw kids die of measles encephalitis and pneumonia from a local Amish community. It was one of the hardest nights I had as a pediatrician, sitting next to a bed of a 1-year-old Amish child. I worked for hours administering a medication to reduce swelling of the brain, but after a while, the child stopped responding to the treatments and passed away. At the time there was a large measles outbreak in the Amish community, because there were a great number of unimmunized people living in close proximity there. It was sad, because it didn’t have to happen!

When I was a kid, my mother ran to get us the polio vaccine. My mother had seen polio as a young woman. In fact, my mother-in-law had polio when my husband was a small child. When new vaccines became available when I was a parent, my kids were the first to get vaccinated! My husband and I saw first-hand how deadly these diseases could be; we saw children literally go from healthy to dead in hours.

Vaccines really transformed the practice that my husband and I had together, and they continue to really impress me. The concept of being able to prevent cancer with a vaccine against viral causes of cancer—hepatitis B and HPV vaccines—just blows my mind.

1. Immunizations

Pediatrician Remembers Severe Hib and Chickenpox Cases in the 1960s

I graduated from New York Medical College in 1963 and completed a pediatric residency at Stanford in 1968. My entire career in pediatrics was at San Mateo County Hospital. During that time, I saw many diseases disappear from pediatric practice due to vaccines.

I remember a morning, many years ago, when the front doors of the Pediatric Clinic clanked open and a young Hispanic mother, having traveled alone on a bus and walking four blocks to the hospital, approached the reception desk carrying her quiet infant wrapped in a blanket. It didn’t take much more than a quick look to confirm he was very sick.

The baby was 6 months old and while he survived following treatment for bacterial meningitis, he was unfortunately left with severe hearing loss and a developmental disability. He was born in the early ’70’s before the introduction of the Hib vaccine a decade later. Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) was a common cause of invasive bacterial disease.

Another complication of Hib infections in addition to meningitis was epiglottitis, a frightening obstruction of the airway. Children appeared extremely anxious, leaning forward, shoulders hunched, and literally gasping for air. It was one of those feared, life-threatening emergencies that pediatricians and parents faced before the Hib vaccine was introduced.

Complications related to varicella sometimes resulted in hospitalization in the days prior to the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine in 1995. One day, the ER called me and said they had a 10 year old with extensive chickenpox lesions, fever, and that the lesions were “black.” These “black pox” were due to hemorrhagic complications causing skin bleeding.

I remember a child hospitalized with severe chickenpox with so many skin lesions that it was almost impossible to find a clear space to start an IV for fluids and antibiotics. The child had a secondary bacterial infection.

Pediatricians still need to think about these things, but they aren’t everyday events like they were when I started my career. Now, doctors have to counsel parents who are dubious about vaccinations; I don’t remember that before. The fear of immunizations is new to me. I retired five years ago, but when I was in practice, parents did not question the fact that immunization would protect their children from potentially deadly diseases. They were correct, because vaccines are good for children.

1. Immunizations

Pediatrician Remembers Measles Patients at Louisville General in the 1960s


In 1962, during my senior year in medical school, I worked at the evening clinic at Louisville General Hospital. By 6:00 pm the waiting room was full, and it was not hard, even for a medical school student like me at the time, to diagnose the many measles cases that awaited treatment as coughs filled the air and many children presented with the distinct rash and red eyes that are common with measles patients.

The majority of cases we were seeing were measles cases. Measles is one of the most communicable diseases you can come across. The fevers associated with those patients were atrociously high, and the medication we used to reduce those fevers came with unfortunate side effects. The only thing we could do was treat the symptoms of measles; we could not help fight the measles infection itself at all.

I vividly remember how sick the children were, and I also remember the worried expressions that those parents had. They felt worried and helpless. They had a right to feel worried, because some of these children died. I can tell you that the doctors were just as worried as the parents. We could not do much. We had no tools to fight or prevent the disease.

I have to admit that I was glad to rotate off the night clinic at Louisville General Hospital, because then I didn’t have to face all those desperately sick children, and their worried parents.

It wasn’t long after I rotated off the ER that we heard that a measles vaccine had been developed. We were extremely happy, because we knew we would soon have something that would stop these children from getting the measles.​​

The vaccine was distributed by the manufacturer very quickly. In the last two months of my internship, I do not remember seeing a single case of measles! At the time I was working with a worldwide patient population, because I was then in Texas at the U.S. Air Force Hospital, Wilford Hall.

Of course, the measles vaccine was not the only immunization to be introduced during my career. But for me, it was the most memorable. It was tied to my early years as a pediatrician, and it was so incredibly successful. For those of us who lived those days, and saw the specter of death in far too many children, we continue to be grateful for the amazing role vaccines have had in protecting our children.

1. Immunizations

Pediatrician Remembers Measles and Diphtheria in Charleston


As a practicing pediatrician for 36 years, I often worked with patients suffering with diseases that have since been widely prevented by immunizations. During my internship in 1956, we still had patients in iron lungs because of paralysis from polio.

In the early days of my pediatric training and practice and prior to newer vaccines, I personally helped care for seven children who unfortunately died from complications occurring with measles. There was no treatment for measles and its complications, as is true today, so all that we could do was provide symptomatic and supportive care.

In addition, during my pediatric training in Charleston, S.C. we often saw severely ill young children with diphtheria or whooping cough who often came from islands near Charleston and unfortunately had never received immunizations.

Almost every year there were epidemics of measles, mumps, and chickenpox and often there were some cases of pneumonia, encephalitis, or other complications. In one year, in my small-town pediatric practice, I treated 13 cases of bacterial meningitis, an illness that is rarely seen these days because of immunizations.

I was pleased when the measles vaccine became available in the 1960s. The same is true for the Hib vaccine, which became available in the late 1980s and prevented severe illnesses like bacterial meningitis as do the pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines. I was also proud when smallpox was eradicated in 1979.

It is wonderful that younger pediatricians rarely see these problems anymore because of immunizations. Some of the pediatricians in the practice that I started have never seen a case of measles.

During the over 15 years that I served as a member of the North Carolina Senate, I was chair or co-chair of the Senate Health Care Committee. In every session of the Senate, I had meetings with organizations and individuals who wanted to weaken North Carolina laws regarding vaccines and to add exceptions to requirements for immunizations. My personal experiences as well as scientific evidence so strongly supported the value of immunizations; I never allowed their legislation to advance. For this action, I make no apologies.

1. Immunizations

Pediatrician Remembers Consequences of Diphtheria in the 1970s


Resistance to immunizations has been a common problem since I began in pediatrics more than 40 years ago. For many reasons, parents have declined to immunize their children. In most of these cases, they have become misinformed.

For example, I remember advertisements in the early 1970’s urging parents to skip immunization in favor of another pseudo-health treatment. That is a particularly vivid memory, because at that same time I was saddened and angry after witnessing the terrible consequence faced by a child who had not been vaccinated for diphtheria. It was an 11-year-old boy who died of diphtheria. He had not received his immunizations. There may have been reasons for this, but perhaps it related to the vaccine not being available in his Mexican homeland at the time. In any case, we got him past some of the early complications of diphtheria only to have him pass away as a result of a diphtheria-related heart complication.

Around that same time, I was also saddened when I watched a 3-year-old girl die of measles pneumonia, the most common cause of death in children with measles.

Vaccine resistance and misinformation seems to have become more of a problem in recent years. A few years after the chickenpox vaccine became available, I witnessed a case of necrotizing fasciitis, the so-called flesh-eating bacteria related to chickenpox. It was in the arm of a boy who had not received the chickenpox vaccine. Fortunately, he survived and, with medication and surgery, his arm was saved.

Sometimes, when a pediatrician suggests immunizations for a child, it seems that parents resists because they think the doctor is saying they shouldn’t have the right to make decisions for their child. The issue of parent autonomy is, of course, a valid one but that is not the discussion. The discussion is whether the vaccine is safe and effective and that immunizations might just save a child’s life!

1. Immunizations

Multiple Vaccinations at One Time

One of the most important ways parents protect their child’s health is by keeping them up-to-date on immunizations. To make childhood vaccines as effective as possible, several of them are broken up into multiple doses scheduled to be given over time at specific ages. That’s why, at some wellness visits, children may be due for a few different shots.

Some parents wonder if getting more than one shot at a time will cause them to interfere with each other, or be too much for their baby’s immune system. But, rest assured, this is how immunizations are proven to work best to safely and effectively build your child’s immunity against many serious illnesses.

Vaccine advances

Vaccines contain antigens. An antigen is anything that causes the immune system to respond, like bacteria, viruses, chemicals, or pollen. The antigens in vaccines are proteins or sugars made from bacteria, or proteins made from viruses. It may be surprising, but today’s vaccines actually have fewer antigens than the vaccines of the past.

For example, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, vaccines protected kids against eight diseases and had more than 3,000 antigens. The vaccines that kids get today are more advanced. They protect against 14 diseases and only contain around 150 antigens. So even though your child is getting more vaccines than you or your parents did, their antigen exposure is still a lot less.

Daily antigen exposure

Babies put everything they can get their hands on into their mouths. They play on the floor. They’re also sometimes around people who are sick. Even the dust they inhale and the food they eat contains antigens. Translation: Your baby is exposed to far more antigens on a daily basis than vaccines contain.

Safety of vaccines

Your child will need many vaccines before the age of 2 years. Some of them need to be given in more than one dose. This means that your child could have up to five shots at one office visit. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires scientists to carefully study vaccines before they are FDA-approved. One way they’re tested is along with vaccines that have already been approved. This helps the researchers make sure that the vaccines don’t affect each other and that they are safe to give together.

Vaccine Side effects

The possible side effects are the same whether your child has one shot or five. Common side effects are minimal and could include:

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling in the area the vaccine was given
  • Fatigue
  • Low fever
  • Headache
  • Achy joints or muscles
  • Chills

For most kids, side effects are mild and go away quickly.

Timing of vaccines

It might seem like a lot to see your baby getting four or five shots at once. But keep in mind that scientists study these vaccines thoroughly. They are given at what scientific research has found to be the best times to protect kids from serious diseases. These illnesses can cause serious complications, like heart disease, hearing loss, and liver damage. They can even lead to death.

The recommended vaccination schedule is reviewed every year and approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Family Physicians. The CDC has parent-friendly vaccination schedules that shows when your child needs each vaccine.

Is it OK to delay vaccines?

What about asking your doctor to use an alternative schedule so you can spread your child’s immunizations out? The problem with this is that you may be putting your child at more risk. Experts create the recommended vaccination schedule to coordinate with the times the vaccines will work best with kids’ immune systems.

Babies are the most likely age group to be hospitalized or die from the diseases these vaccines protect them from. This is why it’s important to vaccinate your child as soon as possible. If you delay or skip vaccines, your child won’t be protected from these serious illnesses when they’re the most vulnerable.