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Your Most Common Vaccine Questions, Answered

If my child is sick, should I wait he's better to have him vaccinated?
That's probably not necessary. "There are many studies looking at children with upper respiratory tract infections, diarrheal diseases, and ear infections that have found that these minor illnesses neither make vaccines work less effectively nor cause more side effects from them," says Dr. Offit.  "If your child has a very severe illness, such as meningitis or bacterial pneumonia, talk to your doctor about possibly waiting to be vaccinated."

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 I'm breastfeeding, isn't my baby immune to all the diseases I'm immune to?