To help prevent the spread of disease and protect children against dangerous complications, it’s important for each child to get immunizations for 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age 2.

Virtua pediatrician Eric Dorn, MD, shares the top 10 reasons you should stick to an immunization schedule for your kids:

You’ll protect them from preventable disease. Younger, smaller children can get sicker than those who get the disease when they’re older. In fact, your baby should get the Hepatitis B vaccine before he leaves the hospital.

You’ll reduce their risk of getting measles. As of April 2019, measles cases in the United States have surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000. Most of these cases are showing up in areas with low vaccination rates. When vaccinated, children are less likely to get measles, mumps, rubella, polio, pertussis (whooping cough), and the other 9 other vaccine-preventable diseases.

You’re traveling. When traveling, your baby is more likely to contract a disease, especially if he's not vaccinated. If you’re traveling to a high-risk area, some vaccinations can be given ahead of schedule.

You’ll minimize your child’s exposure at doctor’s office. When you follow the schedule, your child will receive multiple vaccines at one time. This is not dangerous. When your child receives multiple vaccines at one time, you reduce your child’s exposure to germs. “No matter how clean the doctor’s office is, the human immune system is exposed to a threat just by being in the pediatrician’s office with other people’s germs,” he says.

You’ll reduce their risk of catching the flu. The flu shot is recommended for any babies over six months of age from September through April.

You’ll minimize side effects. While it’s never too late to catch a child up on vaccines, younger children experience fewer side effects such as localized redness, fever and swelling.

You’re preparing them for childcare services and schools. New Jersey state law requires a minimum number of vaccinations before your child can be admitted to a preschool or childcare facility. Mostly likely, your child will receive the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) shot when they are 12 months old, then get a booster around age 4 before starting school.

You’ll help prevent spreading diseases.
When the majority of people receive all of their immunizations, it helps all of us stay healthier.

You won’t put them at risk for autism. Vaccines do not cause autism. “The correlation between autism and vaccinations has been 100% disproven,” says Dr. Dorn.

You’ll help keep them safe. The vaccination schedule was made to protect the young people who are most prone to the serious effects of these illnesses. Any chance we have to protect young babies and save lives with a vaccine is safe, effective and something we should always do.

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If you're not sure if your child or you are up to date on your vaccinations, call 1-888-847-8823 to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider.