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How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Kids Need?

There Are So Many Vaccines. How Do I Know Which Ones My Kids Should Get?

To protect them from many serious and life-threatening diseases, kids should get all the vaccines recommended for them by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other health experts.

Vaccines are given on a schedule. Kids get each vaccine when they're at highest risk for getting sick from that disease. Choosing not to vaccinate, only getting some of the recommended vaccines, or delaying a vaccination all can put a child at risk.

Some parents worry about the safety of vaccines. But new vaccines are licensed and recommended only after being thoroughly studied. Safety monitoring continues even after a vaccine has been approved — so researchers make sure that only safe vaccines stay on the market.

The U.S. government's Vaccines for Children (VFC) program can help many kids get vaccines even if their families can't pay. Kids can also get inexpensive or free vaccines through local public health clinics or community health centers.

If you have questions about which vaccines your kids need, or if cost is a concern, talk to their doctor.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date Reviewed: Feb 22, 2022

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