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Just Ask Children's

What Parents Need to Know About Vaccines

A woman with long brown hair, wearing in a gray sweater and blue latex gloves holds a needle in one hand while holding a boy's arm in the other hand, preparing to give him a shot. The boy has dark hair and is wearing a blue Super Bowl shirt with white and orange lettering.

The facts about vaccines

The use of vaccines has led to major improvements in child health. Many of the infectious illnesses you or your parents had as children, from chickenpox to polio to measles, no longer affect most children today thanks to vaccinations.

As parents and caregivers, we all want to take the safest steps for our children, and that includes paying attention to the things that go into their bodies. As a result, vaccines have come under more scrutiny in recent years, with some parents questioning their safety and necessity. Despite these concerns, thankfully, the vast majority of parents still choose to vaccinate their children according to the recommended schedule.

Vaccines are safe

  • Some people have expressed concerns about vaccine safety. Vaccines save lives and protect against the spread of disease. Not immunizing children puts them at risk to catch a disease that is dangerous or deadly and also puts others in contact with that child at risk. Getting vaccinated is much better than getting the disease.
  • Most reactions from vaccines, such as a sore arm or slight fever, are very minor and do not last long, whereas the diseases they prevent are often severe and can be fatal.
  • Read more about vaccine safety facts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

There's been research, research and more research

  • Some parents have questions on the safety of vaccines, the number given at the same time, myths about autism, and contents of the vaccines themselves. There is ample information to answer these questions, which are best discussed with your child’s doctor who is committed to working with you to keep your child well.
  • Research has been conducted on all of these topics and more, and the studies continue to find vaccines to be a safe and effective way to prevent serious disease.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics provides links to the research studies and publications to allow parents to read the evidence for themselves.


  • Each year, top disease experts and doctors who care for children work together to decide what to recommend that will best protect U.S. children from diseases.
  • The schedule is evaluated each year based on the most recent scientific data available.
  • The schedule is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

For more information on how the schedule is determined, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Download an easy-to-read schedule from the AAP:

Read about the important work the Colorado Children’s Immunizations Coalition is doing in our community.

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