August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and the country is joining together to communicate the importance of immunizations for infants, children, teens, and adults alike.
Many vaccine-preventable diseases are still common in the U.S.. In fact, most of the outbreaks reported in 2014, like the measles outbreak, are direct results of a disease spreading in an unvaccinated population. Vaccinating your children is one of the best ways you can protect them from 14 harmful and potentially deadly diseases before their second birthday.
How much do you know about infant vaccinations? Test your knowledge with a quick quiz:
How'd you do? Childhood vaccines or immunizations can seem overwhelming as a new parent, but Intermountain Healthcare can help you navigate it all with ease.
What is a Vaccine?
A vaccine is a dead, or weakened version, or part of the germ that causes the disease in question. When children are exposed to a disease in vaccine form, their immune system, which is the body's germ-fighting machine, is able to build up antibodies that protect them from contracting the disease if and when they are exposed to the actual disease.
When Should I Immunize my Child?
Most of your child's vaccinations are completed between birth and 6 years. Many of these vaccinations are given more than once, at different ages, which means you need to keep careful track your child's vaccination history. You can ask your child's doctor for an immunization record form or download an immunization schedule from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website.
Keep this information in mind to help your child’s immunizations go more smoothly:
- Common side effects of immunizations include swelling at the site of the injection, soreness, and fever. Discuss these side effects with your doctor and ask what symptoms deserve an office call.
- Ask your doctor's office if it participates in an immunization registry. This is a source you can go to if your immunization records get lost.
- Ask your doctor's office if it has an immunization reminder or recall system. This type of system will call to remind you when immunizations are due and will warn you if an immunization has been missed.
- Always bring your immunizations record with you to all of your child's office visits and make sure the doctor signs and dates every immunization.
Vaccines are some of the safest and most effective medicines available, and they have made many dangerous childhood diseases rare today. Learn more about immunizations for a healthy pregnancy, newborns, and women by visiting our Women & Newborn Services page.