Frequently asked questions

On this page, you will find frequently asked questions about vaccines. Click on a question below to view the response.

  • 1. Do we still need vaccines?
  • 2. Are vaccine side effects dangerous?
  • 3. Can vaccines give your child the disease they’re supposed to prevent?
  • 4. What allergies should I discuss with my child’s HCP before vaccinating?
  • 5. Will my child’s immune system be overwhelmed by multiple shots?
  • 6. Why do certain vaccines contain ingredients such as aluminum and formaldehyde?
  • 7. Do vaccines cause autism?
  • 8. Aren’t a lot of the diseases we get vaccinated against no longer around?
  • 9. Can pharmacists administer vaccines?
  • 10. Is there any other way besides a shot to receive vaccinations?

1. Do we still need vaccines?

Yes. Advancements in hygiene and sanitation have helped to reduce the rate of many infectious diseases. However, a significant decrease in certain infectious diseases did not occur until specific vaccines were introduced and given to large numbers of children.

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2. Are vaccine side effects dangerous?

Side effects may happen following vaccination. Some common side effects may happen where the shot was given, such as pain, redness, or swelling. Other common side effects are fever, headache, nausea, muscle aches, and tiredness. Though uncommon, there are also some more serious side effects that can occur, such as allergic reactions to vaccines, that would require immediate medical attention. If you experience a side effect related to a vaccine, please contact your child’s health care professional (HCP).

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3. Can vaccines give your child the disease they’re supposed to prevent?

It depends. Some vaccines do contain live bacteria or viruses, which in some cases may result in disease. Other vaccines do not contain live bacteria or viruses. For these vaccines, it’s impossible for someone to become infected with that disease as a result of vaccination.

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  • 4. What allergies should I discuss with my child’s HCP before vaccinating?

You should discuss any allergies your child has with their HCP, including those to eggs, gelatin, and yeast, which may be found in certain vaccines, as well as latex, which may be used in syringes or vaccine vials. You should also tell your child’s HCP if your child has had an allergic reaction to a prior vaccine.

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  • 5. Will my child’s immune system be overwhelmed by multiple shots?

There is no evidence to suggest that the recommended childhood vaccines can overwhelm the immune system. While children today receive more shots than previous generations, a child’s immune system can handle multiple vaccines.

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  • 6. Why do certain vaccines contain ingredients such as aluminum and formaldehyde?

Certain ingredients are added to vaccines to maintain their effectiveness and to prevent contamination.

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7. Do vaccines cause autism?

Some conditions and side effects have been incorrectly attributed to vaccination, such as the developmental disorder autism. Considerable research and extensive review of available data have shown that there is no medical evidence of a link between vaccines and autism.

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  • 8. Aren’t a lot of the diseases we get vaccinated against no longer around?

Some diseases have been eliminated or nearly eliminated in the US thanks to successful sustained vaccination efforts. Although infrequent, outbreaks of certain diseases for which there are vaccines continue to occur. Decreasing vaccination rates may contribute to outbreaks of diseases for which vaccines have been developed. People with certain conditions may not be able to receive certain vaccines. Therefore, it’s important for those around them to be vaccinated in order to help prevent the spread of diseases.

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9. Can pharmacists administer vaccines?

In certain states, pharmacists can administer some vaccines.

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  • 10. Is there any other way besides a shot to receive vaccinations?

Some vaccines can be administered in ways other than injection, such as by mouth (orally) or as a nasal (nose) spray. Ask your child’s HCP if there are alternate forms of administration that may be right for you and your family.

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