By Meron Tesfai

Immunizing against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases is one of the best ways to protect children, especially infants from serious diseases that can make them very sick. Many illnesses that used to be common in the US like measles and whooping cough (pertussis) are at record low levels because of widespread vaccination. There are many reasons to vaccinate your child. Immunizations save lives, protect communities, and save your family time and money. Vaccines used in the United States are safe and effective.

In other parts of the world, infections once thought to be almost gone have come back due to low immunization rates. Travelers to these areas who are not vaccinated can get these infections and bring them home. Adults also need vaccinations to stay healthy and to protect those around them.

Parents can:

  1. Make sure your child is up-to-date on all recommended vaccines. To find out which immunizations your child needs, visit CDC’s childhood scheduler online here.
  2. Get an immunization card or record, and bring it to every doctor’s visit.
  3. At every doctor’s visit, ask if your child needs vaccinations.  Click here for the schedule.
  4. Talk with your child’s doctor, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  5. For information on infectious diseases visit the Boston Public Health Commission website.
  6. Residents who need help finding a doctor / provider or need help getting health insurance coverage can call the Mayor’s Health Line for assistance; the multi-lingual services can be reached at 617-534-5050.

If your child needs immunizations, we encourage you to call your physician and make an appointment. If you would like more information please call the Boston Public Health Commission at 617-534-5611 or you can visit www.bphc.org or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meron Tesfai is a project manager in the Infectious Disease Bureau’s Education and Outreach Office.

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