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Vaccines boost kids' immune systems and are the best way to protect them from serious infections and diseases, including pneumonia, meningitis, polio, measles, chicken pox, and whooping cough. Side effects are mild and can include swelling where the shot was given, a low fever, or fussiness.

What You Need to Know About Vaccinations

  • Don't Wait to Vaccinate
    • Childhood vaccinations are safe and have kept kids healthy for more than 50 years.
    • Kids should receive their first vaccination at birth with the Hepatitis B shot, which protects infants from Hepatitis B, a serious liver disease.
  • Stick to the Schedule
    • Many vaccines require several shots over time to fully protect kids from disease. Skipping or delaying shots leaves kids at risk for a longer period of time.
    • Follow your doctor's recommendations for scheduling appointments.
  • Keep a Record
    • The first time your child receives a vaccination, you'll get an Immunization Record. Bring this card with you every time your child visits the doctor so it can be updated.
  • Comfort Your Child
    • Comfort your child before, during, and after receiving a vaccine shot.
    • Bring your child's favorite toy or book to the doctor's office, sing a song, or tell a story to distract your child while receiving a shot.
  • Get Help With Costs
    • If you don't have health insurance that covers children's vaccines, look into programs that provide vaccines for free to eligible children through Covered CA.

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