Routine childhood vaccinations (fact sheet)

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Organization: Public Health Agency Of Canada

Published: 2024-04-19

Vaccines are an important way to protect your child from serious and life-threatening diseases.

Benefits of childhood vaccines

Vaccines prevent 3.5 to 5 million deaths worldwide every year and have been around for decades.

Childhood vaccines protect against 15 vaccine-preventable diseases.

Childhood vaccination schedules are made to provide immunity early in life before children are exposure to serious and potentially life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases. Some vaccines require more than one dose to give the most protection.

Vaccines help the body develop protection against disease without your child having to get the disease itself.

Vaccine safety

Getting vaccinated is safer than catching the diseases that vaccines protect against.

All vaccines are put through a review process that assesses safety, effectiveness and quality before they can be used in Canada. Vaccines continue to be monitored for safety and effectiveness once in use.

Mild side effects after vaccination are common. These can include fussiness, mild fever, mild pain, swelling or redness at the spot where the vaccine was given. These side effects are temporary and not a cause for concern. This is your child's body developing an immune response that helps protect them against infection.

If your child missed a vaccine

If you fall behind on your child's vaccination schedule, you can still catch up. Let your health care provider know so you can work together to get back on schedule.

If you have questions about vaccines, talk to a health care provider or learn how to protect your child with routine vaccination.

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