Growing strong with scheduled vaccines

From first words to feeding skills, your baby is learning more every day. Help their growing body learn too, by teaching it to fight off infection. Give your baby every advantage to grow healthy and strong from an early age. Staying up-to-date with recommended vaccinations is a vital step in promoting your baby’s healthy development.

What is a vaccine?

Think of vaccines as teachers. The vaccine mimics an infection, so they show your baby’s immune system what the bad guys (diseases) look like. But here’s the cool part: vaccines don’t make your baby sick. Instead, they give a gentle lesson that engages their immune system. When the real bad guys show up later, your baby’s immune system remembers and fights them off.

Stay on track of baby’s vaccines

Imagine a roadmap for your baby’s health. Well-child check-ups are like pit stops on that journey, and the easiest way to keep baby up to date. At these visits, your doctor makes sure your baby gets the right vaccines at the right time. It’s like following a recipe for a strong immune system. You can talk with your baby’s doctor about any questions or concerns you may have as well. Download and print this document to track your own baby’s schedule.

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Why is vaccination important?

Baby is new to the world, and that includes germs. Their immune system has had less experience fighting off illness. Vaccination gives  baby’s body some practice. Learn more about vaccine-preventable diseases.

Why Vaccination Matters:

  • Practice Makes Perfect: Babies need practice to fight off germs. Vaccines give them that practice. Some diseases are too tough for babies to handle alone. Vaccination helps them build strength.
  • Protection for All: Vaccines protect not only your baby but also others in your community. When everyone gets vaccinated, it reduces the risk for everyone, including those who can’t be.
  • Preventing Serious Illness: Vaccines prevent dangerous diseases and their complications. For example, the flu shot lowers the risk of flu-related pneumonia, heart attacks, and strokes.
  • Safety Assured: Vaccines are safe and have saved millions of lives worldwide.

Why are vaccines scheduled?

Baby’s vaccine schedule is based on the risk of exposure to each disease and the expected reaction for their age. It’s important to have baby’s first contact with a disease be from a vaccination. This is why the schedule starts with baby’s early months. Doctors have developed this timeline to ensure it is safe and effective.

What happens if you delay or skip scheduled vaccines?

If your child misses a vaccine recommended for their age, talk to your child’s doctor as soon as possible. They can tell you when the missed shot can be given. Your baby could be exposed to dangerous diseases before they’re able to fight the illness off. Whooping cough, chicken pox, the flu and other vaccine-preventable diseases can be severe or even life-threatening. Your baby could potentially catch a disease from someone who may not show any symptoms of illness.

Often there is no way to know beforehand if a child will get a mild or serious case of a disease. And, even if one person has a mild case, they could expose someone who could have a severe response. The best course of action is to follow the recommended CDC schedule and catch up on any missed vaccines.

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