Immunizations help protect people from disease. They also help reduce the spread of disease to others and prevent epidemics. Most are given as shots and are sometimes called vaccines, or vaccinations. Some immunizations are given only one time. Others require several doses over time.

Immunizations are important, because being immunized costs less than getting treated for the diseases that the shots protect patients from.

A woman who is planning to get pregnant should talk to her doctor about what immunizations she has had and what she may need to protect her baby.

Vaccines are often needed for entrance into school or day care.

Traveling to other countries may be another reason to get immunized. Talk with your doctor six months before you leave to see if you need any shots. Ask your doctor what shots you or your family members should receive.

Vaccines have very few serious side effects.

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