What is immunization?

Immunization is a way to protect your child from getting a number of illnesses. Many of these illnesses are easily spread from child to child and can cause serious health problems. They can even result in death.

During their first 2 years of life, children should be given vaccines (medicines) to protect them from:

  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rubeola (measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Mumps
  • Diphtheria
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Polio
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Chickenpox (varicella)
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Rotavirus
  • Hepatitis A

These vaccines are very safe and have saved thousands of children from getting sick.

When should my child get immunized?

Children should get immunized during their first 2 years of life. Your child may need several doses of the vaccines to be fully protected. For example, healthcare providers recommend that children receive their first dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination at 12 months of age or older and a second dose prior to elementary school entry (around 4 to 6 years of age). Children can get the vaccines at regularly scheduled well visits.