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Star Community Health

Routine Childhood Vaccines

Protect them

Catch up on checkups and routine vaccines - CDC PDF


Are vaccines safe?

Yes. Vaccines are very safe. The United States’ long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. Currently, the United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history. Millions of children safely receive vaccines each year. The most common side effects are very mild, such as pain or swelling at the injection site.

What are the risks and benefits of vaccines?

Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases that once killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. Without vaccines, your child is at risk for getting seriously ill and suffering pain, disability, and even death from diseases like measles and whooping cough. The main risks associated with getting vaccines are side effects, which are almost always mild (redness and swelling at the injection site) and go away within a few days.

Serious side effects after vaccination, such as a severe allergic reaction, are very rare—and doctors and clinic staff are trained to deal with them. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.The only exceptions to this are cases in which a child has a serious chronic medical condition, such as cancer or a disease that weakens the immune system, or has had a severe allergic reaction to a previous vaccine dose.

What are the side effects of vaccines?

Vaccines, like any medication, may cause some side effects. Most of these side effects are very minor, like soreness at the injection site, fussiness, or a low-grade fever. These side effects typically only last a couple of days and are treatable. For example, you can apply a cool, wet washcloth on the sore area to ease discomfort.

The recommended schedule protects infants and children by providing protection early in life, before they come into contact with life-threatening diseases. Children receive vaccinations early because they are susceptible to diseases at a young age.

Should my child get shots if she is sick?

Consult with your child's doctor, but in most cases, children can receive vaccinations even if they have a mild illness such as a cold, earache, mild fever, or diarrhea. If the doctor says it’s okay, your child can still get vaccinated.

Should I delay some vaccines or follow a non-standard schedule?

Delaying vaccines according to alternative schedules does not provide any known benefits for children. Infants and young children who follow delayed or omitted immunization schedules are at risk of developing diseases.

Why can’t I delay some vaccines if I’m planning for my baby to get them all eventually?

Young children have the highest risk of developing a serious illness that could cause hospitalization or death. Delaying or spreading out vaccine doses leaves your child unprotected during the time when they need vaccine protection the most. For example, diseases such as Hib or pneumococcus almost always occur in the first two years of a baby’s life. And some diseases, like hepatitis B and whooping cough (pertussis), are more serious when babies get them.

Even young children who are cared for at home can be exposed to vaccine preventable diseases, so it’s important for them to get all their immunizations at the recommended ages. Children can catch these illnesses from any number of people or places, including parents, siblings, visitors to their home, playgrounds—or even at the grocery store. Regardless of whether your baby is cared for outside the home, they come in contact with people throughout the day, some of whom may have a vaccine-preventable disease. Many of these diseases can be especially dangerous to young children, so it’s safest to vaccinate your child at the recommended ages.

Can I wait until my child goes to school to catch up on immunizations?

No. Before entering school, young children can be exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases. Children under age five are especially susceptible to diseases because their immune systems haven’t built up the necessary defenses to fight infection.

Why do adolescents need vaccines?

Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives to protect against serious diseases. Adolescents require vaccines to extend their protection as the immunity provided by childhood vaccines diminishes over time. Furthermore, it’s essential for adolescents to receive vaccines for additional infections before the risk of exposure increases.

Why are multiple doses needed for each vaccine?

Getting every recommended dose of each vaccine provides your child with the best protection possible. Depending on the vaccine, your child may need more than one dose to build high enough immunity to help prevent disease or to boost immunity that fades over time. Your child may require multiple doses of a vaccine to ensure adequate protection, either to establish immunity if it wasn’t achieved with the first dose or to safeguard against evolving germs, such as the flu. Every dose is important because each one protects against an infectious disease that can be especially serious for infants and very young children.

All of the above information is from www.cdc.gov.

To receive a vaccine, you must be a patient (no walk-ins) and schedule an appointment.

Star Community Health - Allentown

Star Community Health KidsCare - Allentown
Sigal Center
450 Chew St
Suite 203
Allentown PA 18102

Star Community Health Family Medicine - Allentown
Sigal Center
450 Chew St
Suite 202
Allentown PA 18102

Star Community Health Women’s Health - Allentown
Sigal Center
450 Chew St
Suite 202
Allentown PA 18102


Star Community Health - Bethlehem

Star Community Health KidsCare -Bethlehem
511 3rd St
Suite 201
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Star Community Health Family Medicine- Bethlehem
2830 Easton Ave
Bethlehem, PA 18017

Star Community Health Women’s Health- Bethlehem
800 Eaton Ave
Suite 200
Bethlehem, PA 18018


Star Community Health - Easton

Star Community Health KidsCare – Easton
220 Ferry Street
Easton, PA 18042

Star Community Health Women’s Health – Easton
220 Ferry Street
Easton, PA 18042