Frequently asked questions about vaccines

Why should my child be vaccinated?

Vaccines save lives. Vaccines not only protect our children, but future generations of children as well.

Why should my child be vaccinated if the disease isn’t around anymore?

Diseases that children used to suffer from aren’t as common anymore because of vaccines. Children who are not fully vaccinated may become seriously sick and spread disease throughout a community.

Can I wait to vaccinate until my child is older?

Follow the recommended schedule of vaccines. Many diseases are extremely dangerous to infants. An infant’s immune system is not fully developed, making it easier for bacteria and viruses to multiply.

When should my child receive his or her vaccines?

Ask your child’s health care provider at every visit if your son or daughter is due for any vaccines.

Are vaccines safe?

Yes. Before introduced to the public, vaccines go through a thorough testing process. Monitoring of the vaccines continues when they are administered to the public.

I’ve heard vaccines cause autism. Is that true?

A lot of research has been devoted to this topic, and studies have found no link between vaccines and autism.

What are the side effects of vaccines?

If experienced at all, side effects are usually minor. Most often your child will experience redness and swelling at the injection site. Some children may also experience a low-grade fever – a sign their body is reacting correctly to the vaccine.

What are the risks of not vaccinating my child?

Children who are not vaccinated almost always catch a disease if they come into contact with the bacteria or virus, even if the person carrying that bacteria or virus has no symptoms. A person coughing at a grocery store or someone who sneezes at the playground can spread disease. While many diseases are treatable, some can have serious long-term consequences and may even lead to death.

I don’t want my child to feel the pain of a shot.

A minor poke is far less painful than dealing with the symptoms and consequences of disease. If nothing else, take heart that your child is too young to remember receiving the vaccine.

Can my child receive more than one vaccine at a visit?

Your child can receive more than one vaccine and also may receive a combination vaccine, which includes multiple vaccines in one shot. Speak to your child’s health care provider to find out what is best.

For more information on vaccines, visit the CDC, or click here to return to Providence Health Plans’ immunizations and health screening guidelines.