Children’s Immunizations

Overview

Immunizations protect your child from serious illnesses like chickenpox, tetanus, MMR, flu and polio. They also protect you and the people you love by helping to prevent deadly diseases from spreading.

Vaccines usually contain a small amount of the disease-causing germ in a weakened or dead form. Instead of giving your child the disease, the vaccination kick-starts the body’s immune system. Then, if your child is exposed to the live version of the disease, there is only a slight chance they’ll get it. In other words, your child becomes immune to the disease.

What to Expect

Pediatricians inject most vaccines with a needle, though sometimes they’ll give your child an immunization orally or as a mist to inhale.

Your Aurora pediatrician will make sure your child is getting the right vaccines at the right times during his or her annual physical exam. Immunizations start when your child is less than a month old. If you follow the recommended vaccine schedule, your child should be fully immunized against many illnesses by age 2.

After getting a vaccine, your child might have brief, mild side effects. Soreness, swelling at the injection site or a slight fever are common.

In rare cases, your doctor may not give your child certain vaccinations. This can happen if your child:

  • Has certain types of cancer or other serious diseases
  • Has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to an ingredient in the vaccine
  • Is severely ill
  • Is taking medicines that suppress their immune system

If you have questions about vaccines for children, mandatory vaccinations, immunization schedules or children’s health in general, you can talk with your existing pediatrician or search for a pediatrician here.

Resources

  • Download the CDC’s recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule [PDF]. This vaccine schedule lists the recommended immunizations for infants, children, adolescents and adults, along with when to get them.

  • Download our Aurora immunization tracking form [PDF] to track which immunizations your child has already received, and which ones they need to get next.

  • Find your child’s immunization record on the Wisconsin Immunization Registry.

  • If you’re worried about affording immunizations for your child, visit the Wisconsin Immunization Program website, or call 608-267-5148 to learn about the national Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. It offers free vaccines to eligible children.

  • For information about free or low-cost vaccinations in Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, or your area of Wisconsin, contact your local health department [PDF].

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