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Infant and Child Immunization
Twin babies
Immunizations are an excellent way to protect your child against many childhood diseases.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases recommend a series of immunizations to protect your children against these vaccine-preventable diseases.


Childhood Vaccine-preventable Diseases
  • Diphtheria - affects the throat and nose, making it hard to breathe. Severe cases can cause nerve problems, inflammation of the heart muscle, and even death.
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) - causes brain swelling that can result in permanent damage or death. It can cause infections of the blood, joints, throat or heart.
  • Hepatitis A - is a liver disease. It can cause fever, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) - may lead to serious infection and disease of the liver, including cancer.
  • Influenza - There are three types of influenza viruses: A, B and C. Of these, types A and B cause epidemics, while type A is more severe in terms of illness and associated deaths. Vaccination is the only universal cost-effective method of preventing infection from cocirculating type A and B strains.
  • Measles - causes a rash and high fever. It can also cause deafness, brain damage or death.
  • Meningococcal - causes meningitis, an infection that can lead to dangerous swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
  • Mumps - can cause swelling of the neck glands, nerve damage and deafness.
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - causes dangerous coughing spells that make it very hard to breathe. It can cause pneumonia, convulsions or brain swelling.
  • Polio - causes paralysis of the muscles. Most people never completely recover.
  • Pneumococcal - is one of the leading causes of ear infections, meningitis, pneumonia, sinus and blood infections among children. Severe cases can lead to death.
  • Rubella - is usually a mild illness for children; however, a pregnant woman who gets it may lose her baby, or her baby may be born deaf or with other problems.
  • Tetanus (Lockjaw) - causes painful muscle spasms. It kills almost half of its victims.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) - is usually a mild disease in healthy children. In severe cases it can cause infection leading to death. Varicella disease can cause more complications and severe infection as children enter adolescence and adulthood.

Immunize your kids - At least six shot visits by age two.

It is recommended that your child receive these immunizations by 2 years of age to protect him/her from these diseases. A typical visit schedule includes doctor's visits at age 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, between 15 and 18 months and 24 months - so 6 visits by 2 years of age.



You should take your child's shot record EVERY time you visit your medical provider


Childhood Immunization Schedule 
The schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for children age 0 through 18 years.



Information about vaccines
  • Why immunize? Science-based information about immunizations
  • Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) 
    Information sheets produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in many languages that explain to vaccine recipients, their parents, or their legal representatives both the benefits and risks of a vaccine.
  • Children's Hospital of Philadephia (CHOP)
    Resources covering how vaccines work, how they are made, who recommends vaccines, when they should be given, if they are still necessary, and, most importantly, if they are safe.


School Immunization Requirements

Shots are required by law for children in attendance at public and private schools, preschools, childcare facilities, and Head Start programs in Oregon. Nearly every place that provides care for a child outside the home requires shots or a medical or nonmedical exemption to stay enrolled. Oregon colleges and universities also have immunization requirements for students.

Learn more about school immunization requirements.


Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program

The Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) supplies federally purchased free vaccines for immunizing eligible children in public and private practices. Approximately 60 percent of U.S. children may be expected to benefit from the VFC Program. Patients through age 18 are eligible if they are:

  • enrolled in Medicaid or the Oregon Health Plan;
  • uninsured; or
  • American Indian/Alaskan Native

Contact your health care provider or local health department for more information.



Additional Resources