Vaccines and Infection Prevention
Common Questions About Vaccines
What are the benefits of and risks of vaccines?
- According to the CDC, vaccines can prevent infectious diseases that once killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. Without vaccines, your child is at risk for getting seriously ill and suffering pain, disability, or even death from diseases such as measles or whooping cough. The main risks associated with vaccines are side effects such as redness and swelling, which usually goes away within a few days. Severe allergic reactions are very rare and health care workers are trained to treat them. The benefits of vaccines greatly outweighs the risks!
Are vaccines safe?
- Yes! Before a vaccine is approved in the U.S., it goes through years of careful testing to make sure that it is safe and effective. Highly trained scientists and doctors employed by the FDA evaluate the results of these studies. The FDA also inspects all facilities where vaccines are made and they follow very strict manufacturing guidelines.
Should my child get vaccines if he/she is sick?
- It is always best to talk to your doctor but in most cases a child can get vaccinated even with a mild illness like a cold, mild earache, mild fever or diarrhea.
Is it ok to delay vaccines or follow a non-standard schedule?
- There is no benefit from delaying vaccinations. By spreading out immunization schedules, children and infants are at risk of developing diseases during the time you delay their shots. Some vaccine-preventable diseases remain common in the U.S. and children may be exposed to these diseases during the time that they are not protected by vaccines.
What are the ingredients in vaccines?
- Vaccines contain ingredients to help the body develop immunity. There are also other small amounts of ingredients that help the final product to be safe and effective. Some websites may claim that ingredients are harmful but one needs to make sure that the information from the internet comes from credible sources and is updated on a regular basis.
Don’t infants have natural immunity?
- Babies may get some temporary protection from the mom during the last few weeks of pregnancy or during breastfeeding, but these antibodies do not last long, leaving your baby vulnerable to disease.
Haven’t we gotten rid of most of these harmful diseases in the country?
- Even though many serious vaccine-preventable disease are uncommon in the United States, some are common in other parts of the world. You could come in contact with international travelers anywhere in your community.
- Most importantly, if we stop vaccinating, the few cases of vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. could quickly become hundreds of thousands of cases!
-Information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. For more information and to view vaccine schedules visit the CDC website.