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Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations?

Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.

We have, however, seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years in the United States. From January through July 2013, more than 11,000 cases of whooping cough were reported, with cases in every state. Last year was a record year, with over 41,000 cases reported, the most since 1955. There were also 18 deaths reported in 2012, most of which were among babies younger than 3 months old. Also, 189 people in the U.S. were reported as having measles in 2013; this represents the second largest number of cases in the U.S. since 1996.

Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

Immunization protects others you care about. Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized.  This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.

Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or daycare facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides VFC vaccines to over 600 health care providers throughout Chicago to vaccinate VFC eligible children. To find out more about the VFC program, visit or ask your child’s health care professional.

Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.

CDPH Immunization clinics provide vaccines at no charge for children 0-18 years of age. See below:

Greater Lawn WIC 4150 W. 55th Street Phone: 312.747.5416 Hours of Operation: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

*Closed 2nd Wed every month 12 to 4 pm

Lower West WIC 1643 W. Cermak Phone: 312.747.1650 Hours of Operation: Thursdays & Fridays: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Roseland Community WIC 11255 S. Michigan Phone: 773.785.1173 Hours of Operation: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays: 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

*Closed 2nd Wed every month 12 to 4 pm

Englewood Neighborhood Health Center 641 W. 63rd St., Lower Level Phone: 312.745.1000 Hours of Operation: Thursdays:  9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Uptown Neighborhood Health Center 845 W. Wilson Ave., Lower Level Phone: 312.742.3227 Hours of Operation: Mondays & Fridays: 8:00 am - 3:30 pm Thursdays: 9:00 am.– 4:30 pm.


Keywords: CDPH, infant immunization, NIIW, vaccination

Posted in Healthcare/Health Resources