The Importance of Vaccination
Children in the United States routinely get vaccines that protect them from more than a dozen diseases such as measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Most of these diseases are now at their lowest levels in history, due to years of immunization. Children are required to get certain vaccines before they may attend school.
Vaccines help make your child immune to serious diseases without getting sick first. Without a vaccine, your child must actually get a disease in order to become immune to the germ that causes it. Vaccines work best when they are given at certain ages. For example, children do not receive the MMR or measles vaccine until they are at least one year old. If it were given earlier it might not work as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a schedule for childhood vaccines.