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Your Most Common Vaccine Questions, Answered

How worried should I be about side effects?
Although minor side effects such as redness at the injection site or mild fevers can happen after a vaccine, severe side effects, such as allergic reactions, are very rare.  There have been cases of children having allergic reactions to the influenza vaccine, because it is made in eggs, and to the stabilizing agent gelatin, used in the chicken pox vaccine; if such allergies run in your family, or if you know your child has them, talk to your doctor before getting him those vaccines, and always talk to your doctor if your child suffers any unusual symptom after receiving a vaccine.

What are vaccines exactly?
Are vaccines safe?
Can my baby's immune system handle so many shots?
Why do kids today get so many more vaccines than they did years ago?
Is it okay to skip some vaccines?
Do these diseases even still exist?
What happens if parents choose not to vaccinate?
Wouldn't my unvaccinated child be protected if all the other kids are immunized?
Doesn't getting the disease itself give my child better immunity than she'd get from a vaccine?
Can't I wait to vaccinate my child until she is ready to start school?
What is thimerosal?
Doesn't the flu vaccine still contain thimerosol?
How worried should I be about side effects?
If my child is sick, should I wait he's better to have him vaccinated?
If I'm breastfeeding, isn't my baby immune to all the diseases I'm immune to?