Parent’s Guide to Childhood Immunizations

In 1796, Edward Jenner inoculated an 8-year-old boy against smallpox and coined the term “vaccination” to describe what he had done.

Today, thanks to vaccination, there is no more smallpox, and routine vaccination against childhood diseases is an important part of our children’s health care.

As parents, we want to do everything we can to keep our children from getting sick. In this booklet you will learn more about the role vaccines play in keeping them healthy. You will learn about:

  • Diseases that are prevented by vaccines, and the vaccines that prevent them.
  • How to prepare for a doctor’s visit that includes vaccinations, and what to expect during and after the visit.
  • How vaccines help your child’s immune system do its job.
  • How well vaccines work, and how safe they are.
  • Where to find more information.


Part 1: Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Childhood Vaccines



Part 2: The Immunization Office Visit

Part 3: More About Vaccines

How do vaccines work?

How safe are vaccines?

Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions