What are immunizations?
Immunizations are medicines (called vaccines) given to a person to begin a chain of events to help their body make an internal army to fight off germs that could otherwise cause them to get sick.
Why are immunizations important?
Immunizations are one of the most safe and effective ways to prevent people from getting sick. Before vaccines, children were at great risk for developing terrible illnesses which could sometimes result in death. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, before vaccines parents could expect that every year:
would infect about 4 million children, killing 3,000
would be the most common cause of death in school-aged children
would cause birth defects and developmental delays in as many as 20,000 newborns
cough (pertussis) would kill thousands of infants, and
, a bacterium, would cause meningitis in about 15,000 children, leaving many with permanent brain damage.
would paralyze 10,000 children
How many children are immunized each year in Maine?
About 9 out of 10 Maine children receive some of the vaccines experts recommend. Most get all the vaccines but only 65 out of 100 get their flu vaccine. For a list of vaccines suggested for your child, visit our recommended immunizations page.
How are immunizations given?
Most immunizations are given as an injection or shot. The polio shot is a liquid taken through the baby’s mouth like food.
What do parents need to remember after their baby has been immunized?
Like you should at any time, call your child’s pediatrician if your baby develops a fever of 100.4 or higher. Wash your hands after you change your baby. Your baby may be carrying germs that could be passed on to you or someone else in your family. For more common side effects visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-hib.pdf or explore our immunization resources page.