Infants & Children
Vaccines protect children from 14 preventable diseases before the age of 2.
From birth, immunization schedules work with children’s immune systems to provide optimal protection when they are most vulnerable and keep them protected throughout life.
Hepatitis B is an incurable infection that can cause chronic swelling of the liver and lifelong complications, including severe liver damage and cancer. All babies need the first of 3 doses of the Hep B vaccine within 24 hours of birth because they are much more vulnerable to complications than adults.
Also known as whooping cough, pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Before the vaccine was available, around 200,000 children contracted it and over 9,000 died from the disease every year. The CDC recommends 5 doses of the DTaP vaccines for infants and children at 2, 4, 6, 15–18 months and 4-6 years.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever. Outbreaks still occur, but nearly all who receive the vaccine are protected from exposure. Kids need their first dose of the MMR vaccine at 12–15 months and again at 4-6 years to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.
Adolescents & Teens
Older children and teens need vaccines too!
Because they are more social, older children and teens are vulnerable to a different set of diseases. Also, the protection they receive from certain vaccines weakens over time, requiring boosters.
Meningococcal disease refers to any illness caused by the meningococcus bacteria. While rare, these illnesses can be deadly and are easily spread by coughing, kissing or even sharing water bottles. The first dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine is needed between ages 11-12 with a booster dose at age 16.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a very common virus that nearly all men and women contract at some point in their lives. While it can go away on its own, it can also cause several forms of cancer and genital warts. Vaccinating between the ages of 11-12 can prevent the risk of HPV cancers.
The risks of contracting whooping cough do not end in childhood. Because immunity weakens over time, older children are still vulnerable to the disease and require a Tdap booster between the ages of 11-12 for maximum protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
Vaccinations protect pregnant mothers and unborn babies.
Pregnant mothers share everything with their babies, including immunities. By vaccinating yourself while pregnant, you are protecting your child as well as yourself.
Whooping cough is especially serious and potentially life-threatening in newborn babies. Vaccinating against the disease during the third trimester of every pregnancy provides the best short-term early protection for newborns who are too young to receive the vaccine.
The flu is a very common, highly contagious virus that infects the nose, upper airways, throat and lungs. Contracting it while pregnant can cause serious complications, including premature labor. The CDC recommends the flu shot as the most important step to protect yourself and your baby from the flu.