Childhood Immunization FAQs

When should my child be immunized?

Immunizations (also called vaccinations or vaccines) usually happen at the 2, 4, 6, 12, 15 and 18 month Well Child Visit. Please see the Personalized Childhood Immunization Schedule for a schedule specific to your child.

What are vaccinations?

Vaccinations (vaccines) protect your child against serious diseases by stimulating the immune system to create antibodies against certain bacteria or viruses. Most vaccinations are given as injections.

What diseases do vaccines protect against?

Vaccines protect against diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, polio, tetanus, whooping cough, chickenpox, rotavirus, and more. Vaccines cannot protect children from minor illnesses like colds, but they can keep children safe from many serious diseases. Read More

I don’t know anyone who has had measles or rubella. Why does my baby need these shots?

You might not think that measles and rubella are a threat today because you do not see or hear much about them, but they are still around. These diseases are common in other parts of the world and are just a plane ride away. If we stop vaccinating against these diseases, many more people will become infected. Vaccinating your child will keep him or her safe. Read More

Is there another way besides vaccination to protect my baby against these diseases?

No. Breastfeeding offers temporary immunity against some minor infections like colds, but it is not an effective means of protecting a child from the specific diseases preventable by vaccines. Likewise, vitamins do not protect against the specific bacteria and viruses that cause these serious diseases.

Of course, infection usually results in immunity, and some parents think that getting the “natural” disease is preferable to “artificial” vaccination. Some even arrange chickenpox “parties” to ensure their child is infected. However, the price paid for natural disease can include paralysis, retardation, liver cancer, deafness, blindness, or even death. Vaccination is a much better choice! Read More

Are vaccinations safe?

Vaccines are safe, and scientists continually work to make sure they become more effective? Every vaccine undergoes many tests before being licensed, and its safety continues to be monitored as long as the vaccine is in use.

Most side effects from vaccination are minor, such as soreness where the injection was given or a low-grade fever. These side effects do not last long and are treatable. Serious reactions are very rare. The minimal risk of a serious vaccine reaction has to be weighed against the greater risk of getting a dangerous vaccine-preventable disease. If you have concerns or questions, talk to your child’s health care provider. Read More

What if my baby has a cold or fever, or is taking antibiotics? Can he or she still get vaccinated?

Yes. Your child can still be vaccinated if he or she has a mild illness, a low-grade fever, or is taking antibiotics. Talk to your child’s health care provider if you have questions.

How do I know when to take my baby in for shots?

Your health care provider should give you a reminder when the next doses are due. If you are not sure, call your clinic or health care provider’s office to find out when you should bring your child back. Doses cannot be given too close together or immunity does not have time to build up. On the other hand, you do not want to delay your child’s shots and fall behind schedule because during this time, your child remains unprotected against these diseases.

What if I miss an appointment? Does my baby have to start the vaccines all over again?

No. If your baby misses some doses, it is not necessary to start over. Your provider will continue from where he or she left off. Get a Catch- up scheduler.

How do I keep track of my baby’s shots?

Your health care provider should give you a personal record card for your child’s vaccinations. If you do not receive one, ask! Bring the card to all medical appointments. Whenever your child receives a vaccine, make sure the card is updated. Your child will benefit by retaining an accurate vaccina­tion record throughout his or her life.

Wisconsin has a great resource called the Wisconsin Immunization Registry, where you can check your child’s records.

What if my child is not a baby anymore? Is it too late to get him or her vaccinated?

No. Although it is best to have your child be­gin vaccinations as a newborn, it is never too late to start. If your child has not received any, or all, of his or her vaccinations, now is the best time to start.

Are vaccinations covered by Prevea360 Health Plan?

Childhood vaccinations are covered by Prevea360. See a complete list of covered services on our preventive services page.