Shots for your baby

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Shots Shots are also called immunizations and vaccinations. Sometimes babies can receive their vaccine by mouth.

Shots are important! Shots protect your baby from many dangerous diseases. These diseases can cause brain damage, pneumonia, paralysis, cancer and even death.

Your baby’s doctor Talk with your baby’s doctor soon to make sure your baby is on track for her shots. Ask the doctor any questions you have about your baby’s shots.

Safe? Are shots safe? Yes they are! The vaccines used in the United States are the safest they’ve ever been.

Every vaccine that is approved has been tested for at least 7 years by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even after a vaccine is approved, the FDA continues to watch for any problems.

Side effects Vaccines are like other medications. They can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild. Babies sometimes feel sore or have a slight rash or a mild fever after they are vaccinated. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about shots.

Your baby’s flu shot All babies, toddlers, children and adults need a flu shot every year. Your baby should receive her first flu shot when she is 6 months old if it is flu season. If your baby turns 6 months old when it is not flu season, she should get her flu shot as soon as flu season starts.

Which shots? Your baby needs many shots to protect her. There are 15 childhood diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A & B, Hib meningitis, polio, pneumococcal disease, chicken pox, rotavirus diarrhea, and the flu.

There is a vaccine to protect your baby against each of these diseases. Some of these vaccines are combined in a single shot. This way your baby will get fewer injections.

When? When does your baby need shots? The childhood immunization schedule tells doctors, nurses and parents the best times to immunize babies and children. Your baby needs shots when she is 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 months old, 12 months old, and 15 months old.

If your baby misses any shots, it’s not too late. She can still receive the shots she needs.

Booster shots Some shots need to be given again. A booster shot contains another dose of the same vaccine the baby received before. More vaccine will provide more protection. She will need booster shots before she starts kindergarten.

Shots for your toddler Read about shots for toddlers here>>

Are you a WIC parent? WIC will help you stay on track with your baby’s shots.

Soon after you enroll your baby in WIC, a WIC educator will give you information about children’s shots. And she will give you an immunization schedule.

A WIC educator will ask you to bring your baby’s immunization record to certain appointments. She will review your child’s record and tell you if your baby is missing any shots. She may also give you a list of clinics that provide free shots for children.

WIC does not provide shots. But sometimes another organization visits a few of our WIC sites and provides free shots to babies, children and even teenagers if their parents don’t have health insurance. Ask your WIC educator for more information.