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Childhood Immunizations       


Why do my children need to be immunized?                    

Immunizations, also known as vaccinations or "baby shots", can protect your children from many serious diseases that may cause: brain damage, heart problems, breathing problems, lung damage, liver damage, severe skin scarring, arthritis, paralysis, blindness, even death. Keeping up with vaccinations is the best way to keep children healthy.


Which immunizations

do my children need?

All children should be immunized against:




•Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

•Haemophilus Influenza type b


•Hepatitis A (Hep A)

•Hepatitis B (Hep B)

•Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

   (males and females)



•Rubella (German measles)

•Inactivated Poliovirus (Polio)

•Influenza (Flu)

•Meningococcal (meningitis)

•Pneumococcal Disease (PCV)


•Varicella (Chickenpox)


Are immunizations safe?

Immunizations are safe and effective. Children may experience a low-grade fever, fussiness or soreness at the site where the shot is given. Talk to your children's doctor or health care provider about what to expect.


When should my children get their immunizations?

Your children will get their first immunization at birth. They need more at 2, 4, 6, 12, 15, and 18 months of age. By their second birthday, children should be caught up with their baby shots. Children need additional shots at 4-6 years of age (kindergarten), 12-12 years of age (7th grade), and 16 years of age (12th grade). At every visit, ask your health care provider when your children need their next immunization.


How can I keep my children up to date on their immunizations?

Immunizations are given when a child has a health check-up. Or, you can call your doctor for an immunization catch-up visit. Your child can be immunized even if he/she has a cold or other mild illness. It is important to keep all appointments. If you miss an appointment, schedule a new one right away. 

Do I have to pay for immunizations?

You do not have to pay to get immunizations. In Rhode Island, vaccines are provided at no cost to Rhode Island families. Most health insurance plans will pay for the office visit.


Where do I get more information?

The Health Information Line provides information about programs and services to improve the health of children and families.

Call 1-401-222-5960.


How do I keep track of my children's immunizations?

Ask your doctor for a copy of your child's immunization record, and keep it with other important papers.●

For more vaccine information ...


The following websites also offer a great deal of well-researched information on immunizations 


●  American Academy of Pediatrics


●  Centers for Disease Control 

     National Immunization 



●  The Immunization Action Coalition


●  Rhode Island Department of Health

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