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Infant Immunizations: What Parents Need to Know

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention frequently receives questions about vaccinations from parents of infants. Here are two of the most frequently asked questions.

Q: Why do vaccines start so early?

A: The recommended schedule is designed to protect infants and children by providing immunity early in life, before they are exposed to life-threatening diseases. Children are immunized early because they are susceptible to diseases at a young age, and the consequences of these diseases can be very serious, and even life-threatening, for infants and young children.

Q: Can vaccines overload my baby’s immune system?

A: Vaccines do not overload the immune system. Every day, a healthy baby’s immune system successfully fights off millions of germs. Antigens are parts of germs that cause the body’s immune system to go to work. The antigens in vaccines come from the germs themselves, but the germs are weakened or killed so they cannot cause serious illness. Even if babies receive several vaccinations in one day, vaccines contain only a tiny fraction of the antigens that infants encounter every day in their environment. Vaccines provide your child with the antibodies needed to fight off serious illnesses.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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