Resources for Parents

We know that making the best choices for your child’s health is a parent’s top priority. Vaccines are one of the best ways a parent can protect their child from illness. Thanks to vaccines, your child can be protected from these 16 life-threatening diseases

Many parents visiting this site have already decided to vaccinate their children, while others may have more questions. No matter what you’re looking for, there are a number of links to great, science-based resources for all parents on this page. You can also look at our Frequently Asked Questions About Vaccines page for answers to commonly asked questions. Remember, one of the best places you can go for information on vaccines is your primary care provider.

Why Vaccines are Important & What to Expect


Vaccines are so important because they save lives.The CDC estimates that vaccination of children born between 1994 and 2018 will:

  • Prevent 419 million illnesses and 26.8 million hospitalizations
  • Avoid 936,000 deaths
  • Save nearly $1.9 trillion in total societal costs
When one person in a community is vaccinated it not only keeps them healthy, but also helps protect their family and their community by lowering the chances of spreading deadly but preventable diseases. Why Are Childhood Vaccines So Important? HPV Vaccine: What you need to know Getting a vaccine is a stressful experience for many children. Mild reactions like a low-grade temperature or soreness around where the vaccine was injected are also normal. However, vaccines are too important to your child’s health to delay or miss them. Here’s some information on what you can expect and how to prepare. 9 Things You Can Do to Make Shots Less Stressful How to Hold Your Child When Getting a Vaccine




Understanding the Benefits vs. Risks of Not Vaccinating


Vaccines can protect your child from diseases that can cause serious and lifelong health concerns, disabilities, or death. Even though many of these diseases aren’t very common anymore, we still need to get vaccinated against them to make sure they don’t come back. Every person that’s immunized reduces the chances of a vaccine-preventable disease from spreading. What if you don’t vaccinate? Weighing the Risks and Benefits of Vaccines Clear Answers and Smart Advice About Your Baby’s Shots Making the Vaccine Decision




Vaccination Schedules & Tracking


The Virginia Department of Health follows the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice recommendations for vaccines. Easy to read schedules and tools to help you keep track of vaccines can be found below. Childhood and Adolescent Vaccine Schedules Immunizations and Developmental Milestone Tracker (Birth - 6 years) Vaccines by Age What Vaccines Does Your Child Need? Assessment Tool Diseases & The Vaccines That Prevent Them




School Immunization Requirements


Virginia requires students to provide documentation of required vaccines for attendance at a public or private elementary, middle or secondary school, child care center, nursery school, family day care home or developmental center. Virginia School and Day Care Immunization Requirements Minimum Immunization Requirements in Spanish School Health Entrance Form School Health Entrance Form Instructions




Paying for Vaccines


The Virginia Vaccines for Children program is a statewide program through the Virginia Department of Health that helps families pay for vaccines. Eligible families can get vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at no cost through this program. If you receive Medicaid, are uninsured, or are underinsured you may be eligible. There are currently over 700 private and public health care providers that can provide vaccines through this program. Parents should ask their pediatrician if they are one of them or call your local health department for a referral. For more information on this program call the Virginia Department of Health at 1-800-568-1929 or 1-804-864-8055.