Why In adults, this highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs costs you a few sick days home in bed. But infants who come down with flu often develop pneumonia and bronchitis and require hospitalization. Roughly 150 children die of influenza in the United States annually. The 2010-2011 flu vaccine contains two seasonal strains plus the H1N1 strain.
When 6 months or later. The first time a child receives the flu vaccine, he needs two doses separated by at least four weeks. If your child got only H1N1 or a seasonal vaccine last year, he'll need two doses this year.
Common Side Effects Pain, redness, and tenderness at the injection site
MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
Why You can catch measles simply by being in a room an infected person recently left -- it's that contagious. Before the vaccine was introduced in 1963, approximately 450 children died each year from the disease, which often leads to pneumonia, seizures, and sometimes brain damage. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the largest recent outbreak took place, more than 11,000 children were hospitalized and 120 died from measles infections. Mumps is spread in the air by a cough or sneeze from an infected person. In kids, mumps can lead to meningitis, encephalitis (brain inflammation), hearing loss, or swelling of the testes, which can cause sterility. Rubella (German measles) is usually a mild illness causing fever, swollen glands, and a rash that lasts about three days. But if a pregnant woman is infected, her fetus may suffer serious heart defects, intellectual disability, and loss of hearing and eyesight. (Relax, you were probably vaccinated against rubella as a child. Your ob-gyn will check your immunity; if it's low, you'll be revaccinated after giving birth.)
When 12 to 15 months
Common Side Effects Pain, redness, and tenderness at the injection site; low-grade fever; mild rash