Key Messages for Parents and Patients
Use key messages to encourage parents and patients to stay up to date on vaccinations. Use these messages or adapt them to fit your particular audience.
Use the collapsible menu to find key messages tailored to vaccination at different stages of life.
Adults and children 5 years and older can get other vaccines at the same time as COVID-19 vaccination. Talk with your doctor if you have questions. Learn more about what to expect when getting your COVID-19 vaccine.
Work with your doctor or nurse to ensure your children have all their routine vaccines.
- Talk to your prenatal care provider about recommended vaccines.
- All pregnant people are recommended to get a whooping cough shot (Tdap) during the 27th through 36th week of each pregnancy. Getting a Tdap vaccine during pregnancy provides the best protection against whooping cough for you and your baby in the first few months of life, before your baby is old enough to get their own whooping cough shots.
- A flu vaccine during any trimester of each pregnancy provides the best protection against flu for you, and can also protect your baby for the first several months after birth when they are too young to be vaccinated.
- Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about any routine vaccines your child may have missed.
- The immunization schedule is designed to provide immunity (protection) early in life, before children are likely to be exposed to serious, potentially life-threatening diseases.
- Some vaccines require more than one dose to provide your child with the best protection. Each recommended dose is important.
- Talk to your doctor or nurse about whether you have missed any vaccines.
- Use CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be recommended for your age, health conditions, job, or lifestyle.
It is especially important for patients with certain health conditions to be up to date on recommended vaccinations, since they are at increased risk for complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases.
You have the power to protect against vaccine-preventable diseases.
- You have the power to protect yourself and your baby each pregnancy from serious diseases like whooping cough and flu.
- If you are pregnant, getting vaccinated can help protect your baby after birth by passing on antibodies. These antibodies can give your baby protection from flu and whooping cough until it is time for their own vaccines.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about the vaccines you need during pregnancy.
- You have the power to protect your children against serious diseases like measles, cancers caused by HPV, and whooping cough.
- Preteens and teens need four types of vaccines to help protect against serious diseases: meningococcal vaccine to protect against meningitis and bloodstream infections; HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV; Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough; and a yearly flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.
- View CDC’s parent-friendly immunization schedule to see which vaccines your children need.
- You have the power to protect yourself against serious diseases like shingles, pneumonia, and flu.
- Vaccines aren’t just for kids. Adults may need vaccines to protect against whooping cough, flu, pneumonia, and shingles.
- Ask your doctor about vaccines you may need for your age, health conditions, job, or lifestyle.
Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious diseases.
- Tdap and flu vaccines help protect you and your baby after birth.
- A 2018 studyexternal icon showed that getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with flu by an average of 40%.
- A 2017 CDC evaluationexternal icon found Tdap vaccination during the third trimester of pregnancy prevents more than 3 in 4 cases of whooping cough in babies younger than 2 months old.
- Flu shots have been given to millions of pregnant people over many years with an excellent safety record. There is a lot of evidence that flu shots during pregnancy are safe.
- Whooping cough vaccine is very safe for people who are pregnant and their developing babies. Getting vaccinated against whooping cough during your pregnancy will not put you at increased risk for pregnancy complications.
- Vaccines work with your child’s natural defenses to help them safely develop protection from diseases.
- Vaccines are tested to ensure they are safe and effective. They are also monitored after they are in use. Learn more about the U.S. vaccine safety monitoring system.
- Like all medical products, vaccines can sometimes cause side effects. The most common side effects are mild and go away quickly.
- Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses to help safely develop protection from diseases.
- Vaccines are tested before licensing and carefully monitored afterwards to ensure their safety. Learn more about the safeguards that ensure the vaccines we need are safe.
- Like all medical products, vaccines can cause side effects. The most common side effects are mild and go away quickly.
Vaccine-preventable diseases are still a threat. Vaccination is the best protection.
- Flu can be more serious for people who are pregnant. Changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant people more prone to severe illness from flu. Risk of premature labor and delivery is increased in people who are pregnant with flu. It is very important for people who are pregnant to get a flu shot.
- Since 2010, CDC has seen between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States. Most of the deaths each year are in babies younger than 3 months old. Getting a Tdap vaccine during pregnancy will give your baby some protection against whooping cough until they are old enough to receive their own vaccines.
- Children commonly need medical care because of flu, especially children younger than 5 years old. CDC estimates that from 2010-2018, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years old have ranged from 7,000 to 26,000 in the United States. While relatively rare, some children die from flu each year.
- Some vaccine-preventable diseases like chickenpox and whooping cough remain common in the United States. Since 2010, CDC has seen between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States. Whooping cough can cause serious complications, like pneumonia and rib fractures, for children and teenagers. Coughing fits can last for 10 weeks or more.
- Some diseases are no longer common in the United States because of vaccination. However, diseases can spread quickly if we stop vaccinating against them. The 2019 measles outbreaks are a reminder of how quickly diseases can spread when children aren’t vaccinated.
- It is important that preteens are vaccinated against HPV early. More than 35,000 men and women in the United States are diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV each year.
- While many serious diseases are no longer common in the United States thanks to vaccines, these diseases still exist and can spread when people aren’t vaccinated.
- Even if you received the vaccines you needed as a child, the protection from some vaccines can wear off. You may also be at risk for other diseases due to your job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. Find out what vaccines you may need based on different risk factors.
- Every year, thousands of adults in the United States become seriously ill and are hospitalized because of diseases that vaccines can help prevent. Many adults even die from these diseases. By getting vaccinated, you can help protect yourself and your family from serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.