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Why Childhood Immunizations are Important

FCHC is pleased to see children for health maintenance for ages birth through 21 years. Routine healthcare, well child visits are important because they are effective in helping to prevent and detect illnesses and problems before symptoms occur.

The benefits of well-child visits – Childhood Immunization Status by 2nd Birthday

  • Prevention. Your child gets scheduled immunizations to prevent illness. You also can ask your pediatrician about nutrition and safety in the home and at school.
  • Tracking growth and development. See how much your child has grown in the time since your last visit, and talk with your doctor about your child’s development. You can discuss your child’s milestones, social behaviors and learning.
  • Raising concerns. Make a list of topics you want to talk about with your child’s pediatrician such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members. Bring your top three to five questions or concerns with you to talk with your pediatrician at the start of the visit.
  • Team approach. Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among pediatrician, parent and child. The AAP recommends well-child visits as a way for pediatricians and parents to serve the needs of children. This team approach helps develop optimal physical, mental and social health of a child.
  • Schedule of well-child visits

Childhood vaccines or immunizations can seem overwhelming when you are a new parent. Vaccine schedules recommended by agencies and organizations, such as the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians cover about 14 different diseases.

Vaccinations not only protect your child from deadly diseases, such as polio, tetanus, and diphtheria, but they also keep other children safe by eliminating or greatly decreasing dangerous diseases that used to spread from child to child.

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.

Over the years, vaccines have generated some controversy over safety, but no convincing evidence of harm has been found. And although children can have a reaction to any vaccine, the important thing to know is that the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the possible side effects.

Vaccines are essential for protecting children against infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough. Many of these diseases are largely forgotten in our country. Before vaccines became available, however, these diseases exacted a huge toll. For example, before the measles vaccine was licensed in 1963, the virus infected at least 2 million Americans a year, causing 500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations.

It may be upsetting for parents to see their babies or young children receive several vaccinations during a medical visit. However, these shots are necessary for protection from multiple dangerous—and sometimes deadly—diseases. Vaccinations typically cause only mild side effects, such as redness or swelling at the injection site; serious side effects are very rare. The public health benefits of vaccination far outweigh the possible side effects.

When children are vaccinated, their immune systems develop infection-fighting antibodies to protect them from contracting the targeted disease if they are exposed to it later in life. The full course of recommended childhood vaccinations, largely completed for most children by age 6, not only protects the vaccinated child but also contributes to a larger umbrella of protection known as “herd immunity.” By doing so, it helps prevent the spread of disease to those who cannot be vaccinated, including newborns who are too young to be vaccinated, and people with compromised immune systems, who cannot effectively develop antibodies to fend off disease.

Many diseases against which children in the United States are immunized are rare in this country because of mass vaccination programs. However, these diseases are still found in other parts of the world and can be reintroduced into the United States by travelers, and then spread within our communities among people who have not been vaccinated. The current resurgence of measles, a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease that was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, is a painful reminder of the need for vaccination.

Immunizations Overview

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends immunizations as the safest and most cost-effective way of preventing disease, including some cancers, as well as hospitalization, disability, and death.

Our practice follows the immunization guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

For information about these vaccines, the diseases they protect against, immunizations schedules, vaccine safety and other important information please visit the

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