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Here are some of the tools and information we recommend using based on real medical science and research.
By the time a vaccine is offered to the public, it has been studied for at least 15 to 20 years in tens of thousands of study participants, by thousands of scientists, statisticians and health care providers.
Consensus exists. Hundreds of medical studies completed over many decades by credible and respected doctors and scientists across the world have found that vaccines are safe for the overwhelming majority of children and adults. Currently, the United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supplyin its history. Clinical trials are conducted to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine before it can be brought to market. Vaccines are first tested in laboratory studies and animal studies. If the results indicate the vaccine is safe, additional testing in people must be done before the vaccine can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Currently, the United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history.
Vaccines will not overwhelm your child’s immune system. It all comes down to something called antigens. Vaccines contain ingredients called antigens, which tell the body’s immune system to create those antibodies. Every day, a healthy child’s immune system naturally and successfully fights off thousands of antigens—the parts of germs that cause thebody’s immune system to go to work.The antigens in vaccines come from the germs themselves, but the germs are weakened or killed so they cannot cause serious illness.
Vaccines contain only a tiny fraction of the antigens that babies encounter every day in their environment, even if they receive several vaccines on one day.
Kids are exposed to 2,000 to 6,000 antigens every day.
A strep throat infection, for example, exposes children to at least 25 to 50 antigens. That’s comparable to the antigens in the vaccines that infants get at their two-month visit: the DTaP, IPV, HepB, Hib, and rotavirus vaccines combine to just 54 antigens.
No one likes to see their child cry or “get a shot.” Please know, however, it is safe to receive several different vaccines during one visit. And even though children receive more vaccines to protect against more diseases now compared to 30 years ago, the actual number of antigens in vaccines is dramaticallyless than decades ago because vaccine technology has improved, making vaccines more efficient.
The actual number of antigens in vaccines is dramatically less than decades ago because vaccine technology has improved, making vaccines more efficient.
In 1980, the recommended vaccines contained more than 15,096 antigens.Today’s vaccines contain less than .01% of that, or only 173 antigens, in the 12 vaccines that protect children and teens against 16 vaccine-preventable diseases.
Studies also show that combination vaccines (which combine multiple vaccines into a single vaccine) pose no greater risk for side effects than vaccines given individually. These vaccines also are as effective in the combined form as they are when given separately.
There are lots of benefits to combination vaccines: fewer pokes, fewer office visits, less money for office visits and copays and less chance of your child being exposed to other germs in office waiting rooms.
Source: Plotkin’s VACCINES, 7th Edition
Slight discomfort (such as pain where the shot was given) is normal and should not be a cause for alarm. Scientific data show that even multiple vaccines given in one visit results in very few side effects.Thanks to the VAERS, we know that most side effects following vaccinations are categorized as non-serious. Ask your child’s health care provider about both the benefits and risks of vaccination and discuss any questions or concerns you have.
See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on VAERS.
Vaccine safety is a shared responsibility among the federal government, state and local health departments, health care providers, scientific experts, and the public.
To help meet this shared responsibility, several coordinated systems have been established to monitor the safety of vaccines after they have been approved for public use. These systems, such as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)and the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project, are used together to help scientists monitor the safety of vaccines. The authorized COVID-19 vaccines will be utilizing these systems and also a new program known as V-Safe which uses smartphone technology to monitor and receive reports about adverse side effects.
CDC: Vaccine Safety: What You Should Know
CDC: Vaccine Safety Research
CDC: Ensuring the Safety of Vaccines in the United States
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Vaccine Development
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Vaccine Licensure, Recommendations and Requirements
Verywell: Antigen Counts in Vaccines
These schedules list the age or age range when each vaccine or series of shots is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If your child (birth through 6 years old) or adolescent (age 7 through 18 years old) has missed any shots, talk to your child’s doctor about getting back on track.
Vaccine Schedule Based On Your Child’s Birthday
Make sure your child is immunized on schedule. For a complete list of recommended immunizations, just select your child’s birth date.
From the CDC
This print-friendly chart helps you track your child’s vaccinations at each appointment.
From the CDC
The Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), is an immunization registry managed by MDHHS and reported to by immunization providers. MCIR allows healthcare providers or individuals to access their immunization records regardless of their location in Michigan. This system also helps to track local and state immunization rates of Michigan residents to ensure immunity to vaccine-preventable illnesses. MCIR is a lifespan registry that includes infant through adult records.
Before, during, and after pregnancy protection
When you’re pregnant, you share everything with your baby. That means when you get vaccines, you aren’t just protecting yourself — you are giving your baby some early protection, too. The CDC has guidelines for the vaccines you and your baby need before, during, and after pregnancy.
From the CDC
Get prepared: Before, during, and after your child’s appointment
There are things you can do before, during and after your child’s appointment to make them easier and less stressful for both of you.
From the CDC
Mobile app from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
The Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia created a free mobile app called Vaccines on the Go: What You Should Know so you can access credible, science-based information from wherever and whenever you need it.
Find your local Michigan public health department or immunization clinic
See the directory of Michigan’s 45 local public health departments for more information on your child’s immunization record and where to get them vaccinated.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
The Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides complete, up-to-date and reliable information about vaccines to parents and healthcare professionals.
Shot by Shot
Stories of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases is a collection of stories from people who have been touched by vaccine-preventable diseases.
Voices for Vaccines
Voices for Vaccines is a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.
Seattle Mama Doc: A Blog by Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson
Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson is a practicing pediatrician and the mother of two young boys. She practices at The Everett Clinic in Mill Creek, Washington, is on the medical staff at Seattle Children’s and is a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington.
Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases
PKIDs’ mission is to educate the public about infectious diseases, the methods of prevention and transmission, the latest advances in medicine, and the elimination of social stigma borne by the infected; and to assist the families of the children living with hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, or other chronic, viral infectious diseases with emotional, financial and informational support.