How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need?

How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need?

I've heard so much lately about new vaccines coming on the market, but I'm reluctant to get my son any shots that he doesn't really need. How do I know which ones he really should get?
- Graham

To protect them from a number of potentially serious diseases, kids should receive all the vaccinations recommended for them by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other immunization authorities.

Some parents choose not to vaccinate or only partially vaccinate their children — sometimes for safety concerns and other times for financial reasons. But new vaccines are licensed and recommended only after being thoroughly studied. And safety monitoring continues even after a vaccine has been approved.

If cost is an issue, kids can receive inexpensive or free vaccines through local public health clinics or community health centers. Prior to the start of school, state regulations differ regarding which vaccines are required.

If you have questions or concerns about which vaccines your son should receive, talk to your doctor.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2012

Have a question? Email us.
Although we can't reply personally, you may see your question posted to this page in the future. If you're looking for medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional. If this is an emergency, contact emergency services in your area.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





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Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
Web SiteNational Immunization Program This website has information about immunizations. Call: (800) 232-2522
OrganizationImmunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
Web SiteThe History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.
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