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 can't protect children from minor illnesses like colds, but they can keep children safe from many serious diseases.
How do I know when to take my baby in for shots?
Your healthcare provider should give you a reminder when the next doses are due. If you are not sure, call your clinic or healthcare provider's office to find out when you should bring your child back. Doses cannot be given too close together or immunity doesn't have time to build up. On the other hand, you don't want to delay your child's shots and because during this time, your child remains unprotected against these diseases.
How many times do I need to bring my baby in for vaccinations?
At least five visits are needed before age two, but the visits can be timed to coincide with well-child check-ups. Your baby should get the first vaccine (hepatitis B) shortly after birth, while still in the hospital. Multiple visits during the first two years are necessary because there are 14 diseases your baby can be protected against, and most require several doses of vaccine for the best protection.
I don't know anybody 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 don't 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.
Isn't there some 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 don't 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 definitely a better choice!
What if my child isn't a baby anymore? Is it too late to get him or her vaccinated?
No. Although it's best to have your child be¬gin vaccinations as a newborn, it's 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.
What if my baby has a cold or fever, or is taking antibiotics? Can he/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. Ask your child's healthcare provider if you have questions.
I heard that some vaccines can cause autism. Is this true?
No. Scientific studies and reviews have found no relationship between vaccines and autism. Groups of experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), also agree that vaccines are not responsible for the number of children now recognized to have autism.
Is it okay for my baby to have so many shots at once?
Yes. Studies show that kid's bodies-even infants-can handle many shots at once. Having several vaccines at once is safe, even for a newborn. Combination vaccines protect your child against more than one disease with a single shot. This reduces the number of shots and office visits your child would need. It's not your imagination; there are a greater number of shots now than even a few years ago. That's because as science advances, we are able to protect your child against more diseases than ever before.
Are vaccinations safe?
Vaccines are safe, and scientists continually work to make sure they become even safer. 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, short-lived, and treatable, such as soreness at the site of injection or a low-grade fever. Serious reactions are very rare, and have to be weighed against the very real risk of getting a dangerous vaccine-preventable disease. If you have concerns or questions, talk to your child's healthcare provider.
Infant Immunizations FAQs
Vaccine Safety Clear Answers and Smart Advice about your Baby's Shots
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Program
Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
My children are covered by Nevada Check-Up does that mean I will be billed for vaccines?
Children covered under the State Child Health Insurance Program or Nevada Check-Up receives state funded vaccines and therefore parents will not be billed for the vaccines.
Will I be billed for the administration of a vaccine?
Providers may charge you for an administration fee, however, Vaccine for Children (VFC) providers enrolled with Nevada Immunization program may not refuse to administer vaccines due to inability for parents to pay for administration fee.
How will I know if vaccines are covered under my health plan?
The Nevada State Health Division urges parents to check their insurance policies to see which vaccines are covered by their plans.
I have health insurance but they do not cover vaccines, what options do I have?
There are a few options you can take. First call you health plans and discuss your questions. Second many employers' health plans offer Flex Plan benefits. This option can offset the expense of out-of-pocket vaccination expenses which are not covered by insurance.
I just took my children to their physician for vaccines; what will I see on my bill?
The billing you receive, also called the explanation of benefits report, may include deductibles, administration fees, coinsurance and or co-payments for vaccinations that have not been billed for in the past.
Which children are eligible for VFC program?
Children through 18 years of age who meet at least one of the following criteria are eligible to receive VFC vaccine:
- Medicaid eligible: A child who is eligible for the Medicaid program. (For the purposes of the VFC program, the terms "Medicaid-eligible" and "Medicaid-enrolled" are equivalent and refer to children who have health insurance covered by a state Medicaid program.)
- Uninsured: A child who has no health insurance coverage.
- American Indian or Alaska Native: As defined by the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (25 U.S.C. 1603)
- Underinsured: A child who has commercial (private) health insurance but the coverage does not include vaccines, a child whose insurance covers only selected vaccines (VFC-eligible for non-covered vaccines only), or a child whose insurance caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount. Once that coverage amount is reached, the child is categorized as underinsured. Underinsured children are eligible to receive VFC vaccine only through a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or Rural Health Clinic (RHC). Children whose health insurance covers the cost of vaccinations are not eligible for VFC vaccines, even when a claim for the cost of the vaccine and its administration would be denied for payment by the insurance carrier because the plan's deductible had not been met.