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Your Most Common Vaccine Questions, Answered

Can't I wait to vaccinate my child until she is ready to start school?

If you wait until school to vaccinate your child, she won't be protected against illnesses that typically occur in the first two years of life, such as haemophilus influenza type B (Hib), pertussis, or pneumococcus.  In fact, doctors now recommend that everyone in the household make sure their own vaccines are up to date before bringing a newborn home, to prevent transmission of these diseases to the infant in the first two months of life, before he can 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?
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?