What is an immunization?
An immunization is the act of making immune. In this case there is a recommended schedule of immunizations for people of all ages that will help safeguard individuals against disease and illness.

Why are Childhood Vaccines so Important?
Children need immunizations (shots) to protect them from dangerous childhood diseases. These diseases have serious complications and even cause death.

What vaccinations are recommended at what age?
Recommended Immunization Schedule for Persons Aged 0 Through 6 Years—

Recommended Immunization Schedule for Persons Aged 7 Through 18 Years

What are the diseases that vaccinations protect children from?
Diphtheria: Causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib): Caused by bacteria, this condition usually strikes children under the age of 5. Hib can cause pneumonia, severe swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe, infections of the blood, joints, bones and covering of the heart.
Hepatitis A (HepA): Causes flu-like symptoms, jaundice of the skin or eyes, and severe stomach pains and diarrhea. People with Hepatitis A often have to be hospitalized and sometimes death does result. This is a serious liver disease.
Hepatitis B (HepB): Hepatitis B can be either an acute (short term) illness with symptoms of loss of appetite, tiredness, diarrhea and vomiting, jaundice of the skin and eyes, and pain in muscles, joints and stomach or a chronic (long term) infection with symptoms of liver damage, liver cancer, or death.
Measles (MMR): The measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever which can all lead to ear infections, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death.

Meningococcal: This is a serious illness that is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2 through 18 years old in the United States.
Mumps (MMR): This virus causes fever, headache, and swollen glands. It can lead to deafness, meningitis, painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries and death.
Pertussis (whooping cough): Causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks. This condition can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death.
Pneumococcal: This bacterium is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the United States and can lead to health problems including pneumonia, deafness and brain damage.
Polio: This disease is caused by a virus that enters the body through the mouth and can cause paralysis or can lead to death by paralyzing the muscles that assist in breathing.
Rotavirus: This virus causes severe diarrhea mostly in babies and young children. Almost all children in the United States are infected with the rotavirus before their 5th birthday.
Rubella (MMR): This virus causes rash, mild fever, and arthritis. If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant she could have a possible miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.
Tetanus (lockjaw): Causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. This condition can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open his/her mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in up to 2 out of 10 cases.
Varicella (chickenpox): This disease is usually mild and causes a rash, itching, fever and tiredness. It can however, lead to severe skin infection, scares, pneumonia, brain damage and death.