Immunizations are extremely safe and getting safer and more effective all the time thanks to medical research and public health officials. Immunizations are given to to keep healthy people healthy, and are held to the highest safety standards. But this doesn't mean that vaccines are risk-free. All vaccines may have possible side effects (see vaccine information sheets). Most of the side effects are mild, such as soreness around the injection site, or a low grade fever.
According to Paul Offit, MD, Director of the Vaccine Educations Center at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia: "...choosing to avoid vaccines is simply a choice to take a different risk. Unvaccinated children are at risk for many diseases including meningitis caused by Hib, bloodstream infections caused by pneumococcus, pneumonia caused by measles, deafness caused by mumps, and liver cancer caused by Hepatitis B virus. When you compare the risk of vaccines and the risk of diseases, vaccines are the safer choice."
Depending on where you will be traveling to, shots may be required. For a detailed list of what is required by other countries, please visit the CDC travel website.
Some shots are safe when you are pregnant, and others are not safe during your pregnancy.
For a detailed list of immunizations that are safe when pregnant, please download the Guidelines for Vaccinating Pregnant Women.
Always check with your medical provider before you have any immunizations.