Why Vaccines Are Important

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services equates the importance of vaccinations to the safety provided by car seats. That’s a pretty strong endorsement.

But why should you subject your child to a shot in the arm—several, in fact, over his or her lifetime? Here are just a few good reasons:

  • Immunizations can save your child’s life. They are designed to jump-start the immune system to develop antibodies that fight—and ultimately prevent—serious disease.

    Polio is a prime example of a paralyzing and, in severe cases, life-threatening disease that has been virtually wiped out, thanks to the vaccine developed decades ago to fight it. Other serious diseases, such as measles, which vaccines had nearly eradicated, have made a comeback in recent years—due in part to parents’ decisions not to vaccinate their children.
  • Vaccines protect more than just your child—they protect vulnerable children and adults who may not be able to have a particular vaccine for medical reasons.
  • Vaccines are safe and effective. Despite some misleading claims that vaccines can cause other health problems, such as autism spectrum disorder, there is no definitive evidence that this is true.
  • Many schools and childcare settings will not accept children who have not received recommended vaccines. This is to avoid situations where disease could spread and threaten children’s lives.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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