As a parent or caregiver, a child’s health can be one of your biggest concerns. Keeping your child healthy and thriving, includes knowing when he or she needs regular vaccinations.
Why you need childhood vaccinations
It can be difficult for a child to get three or four shots during a well-child exam. Yet all those shots (and tears) add up to being protected against 14 potentially serious and spreadable diseases.
Vaccinations are a safe and effective way to keep your child from:
- getting some common childhood illnesses
- spreading some common childhood illnesses to others
When your child receives a vaccine, usually by shot, it helps him or her build antibodies that destroy vaccine germs. Vaccines also protect against disease.
Children need regular vaccinations from 2 months through their teen years.
What to expect from childhood vaccinations
Your child’s provider will recommend vaccinations based on his or her age. This will typically be done during well-child exams. Some visits will include multiple shots and some diseases need several vaccine doses. Your child’s provider will talk with you about the risks and side effects prior to the shot so you can make an informed decision.
All Allina Health providers follow the same immunization schedule, based on recommendations of the Advisor Committee on Immunizations Practices, The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. It is endorsed by the Immunization Practices Task Force of the Minnesota Department of Health.
More to know about childhood vaccinations
Vaccines work with your child’s immune system by imitating an infection. The vaccines are made from the weakened or dead germs that cause disease, but will not cause your child to get the disease. Most childhood vaccines produce immunity about 90 to 100 percent of the time.
Vaccines are safe. The United States’ long-standing vaccine safety system uses ongoing monitoring by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that vaccines are as safe as possible.
Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Centers for Disease Control
Reviewed by: Kurt Elting-Ballard, MD
First published: 3/7/2017
Last reviewed: 8/19/2021