Vaccinating A Child

Vaccines are a central part of a healthy childhood, and one of the most important things a parent can do for their child. At Pediatric Place in Tampa, Florida, Michele Johnson-Towson, MD, offers comprehensive childhood vaccination services. She is committed to educating parents and the larger community about the role that immunization plays in both personal and public health. Schedule your child’s visit today online or by phone to get the protection they need to thrive.

Dr. Johnson-Towson

Frequently asked questions

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are substances that stimulate your child’s immune system to create an immunity to a specific type of disease. The term is often used interchangeably with immunization, which is the process of getting the vaccines needed to protect against disease. To understand how vaccines work, it helps to think about how your child’s immune system functions. When a child is exposed to harmful germs, or antigens, their natural immune system responds by creating antibodies that fight off that infection. Once those antibodies are produced, they remain in your child’s system for life. If they’re ever exposed to that same antigen in the future, they’ll be able to launch a fast and powerful defense to prevent infection. Vaccines work by introducing a dead or weakened version of an antigen through an injection. Your child’s immune system creates the necessary antibodies, which are then “stored away” in case they should ever be called into action.

Why can’t my child just develop immunity naturally?

It’s true that the human body has the capability to fight off many types of infections. Every child health organization recommends vaccination because some diseases are so aggressive that they can make a child horribly ill before their immune system could respond. In areas where vaccination is not common, some children (or even adults) succumb to a disease and die before their immune system can fight back. Immunization is the reason we don’t see deadly plagues and childhood death rates that were common in years past.

What vaccines does my child need?

Kids receive vaccines according to a schedule. The process begins shortly after birth, and continues throughout childhood at set intervals. Some of the vaccines your child needs to stay healthy include: Hepatitis B
Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (given in combination)
Pneumococcal conjugate
Measles, mumps, rubella (given in combination)
Hepatitis A
Chickenpox (varicella)
Human pa