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Over the shoulder shot of a doctor putting a Band-Aid on a child's arm.

Don’t Hesitate, Vaccinate!

By Dr. Lori Goodwin, Newport News Pediatrics

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, vaccines have become a common theme in conversation.

It’s important for parents and caregivers to know that vaccines work with your child’s immune system to prevent various diseases.

This can protect your child and the community you live in. Keeping your child up to date on recommended vaccines and those required for school can protect children who are too young to benefit from vaccines, and those who cannot be vaccinated because of medical problems.

Vaccines protect kids from many contagious diseases that can easily spread in school settings. When enough people are vaccinated, it creates community immunity. This is an added layer of protection that ensures a large part of society, including the most vulnerable, are safe from serious illness. Community immunity helps children stay in school and not get sick.

Here are some tips and facts from the American Academy of Pediatrics:


The science is overwhelming that vaccines are safe and effective. The recommended schedule of immunizations has been researched and documented by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and five other health care organizations. It is based on review of the most recent scientific data for each vaccine. To be on the recommended schedule, the vaccines must be licensed by the Food and Drug Administration.

The vaccines are carefully timed to provide protection when children are most vulnerable, and when the vaccines will produce the strongest response from your child's immune system.

Some, but not all, of these vaccines are required for children to attend school. In Virginia, you can check this Virginia Department of Health graphic for the most updated information on required vaccines.

COVID-19 and flu vaccines

We strongly recommend the flu and COVID-19 vaccines.

Getting sick with COVID-19 can have serious health consequences, including severe illness, long-term health issues, or even death. Getting vaccinated is a much safer way to give your body protection against the virus than contracting COVID-19 itself, and the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the few known and potential risks.

COVID-19 vaccines, which are available for children 6 months and older, are extremely effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill.

An influenza vaccination every year is also recommended, because our immune protection declines over time and flu viruses evolve. The vaccine formula gets updated each year to teach our body to respond to the flu virus types that are predicted to be most common during the upcoming flu season.


If you have questions about vaccines, don't hesitate to ask your pediatrician. They know your child's health history and can talk with you about specific vaccines recommended and what to do if your child missed a shot or is behind schedule.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.