Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Your Vaccine Guide

 For children ages 0-18, the CDC recommends vaccinations against 16 diseases, many of which could result in devastating illnesses and even death. While the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small, like any medication it can cause a severe reaction.This interactive guide will help you by outlining the vaccines your child needs -- and when -- along with the benefits, risks, side effects, and vaccine ingredients. Tell us a few things about your children to get started. For children ages 0-18, the CDC recommends vaccinations against 16 diseases, many of which could result in devastating illnesses and even death. While the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small, like any medication it can cause a severe reaction.This interactive guide will help you by outlining the vaccines your child needs -- and when -- along with the benefits, risks, side effects, and vaccine ingredients. Tell us a few things about your children to get started. Before any vaccine is approved by the FDA, it must pass extensive safety tests. While the risk of serious injury from a vaccine is small, vaccine safety is monitored in several ways., These include the CDC and FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System that allows the public to report side effects and the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink project that works with eight large managed care organizations. In addition, the Institute of Medicine is completing a two-year review of side effects on eight vaccines, with results expected in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services. Ingredients are added to vaccines for a variety of reasons: Some make them more effective, meaning smaller and fewer doses of the vaccine are given. Other ingredients may protect against bacterial contamination during or after manufacture, inactivate viruses used to make the vaccine, and protect them from extreme heat and cold. Ingredients in some vaccines, such as yeast, may cause allergic reactions, while there have been concerns about the side effects of others. Read the list to get ingredients for vaccines and then see specific information below about their uses.

1. What are the ages of the children who live in your home?
Please check all that apply.

2. Would you like information about the flu vaccine?
(For children 6 months and older)

Personal Vaccine Summary

Please enter the information requested in the About Your Family tab, then submit the form to return here.

Read the list below to get information about the vaccines your child will receive at this age and the diseases they prevent. Then go to the other tabs for information about the vaccine risks, side effects, and ingredients.

Vaccine Checklist

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP vaccine)

Trade names: Daptacel, Infanrix, Tripedia

When given: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months, and 4-6 years

Diphtheria is a very contagious disease that can cause breathing problems, heart failure, and death. More information about diphtheria.

Diphtheria, a bacterial disease, affects the respiratory system and skin. It causes sore throat, swollen neck, and weakness. It can lead to heart failure, coma, paralysis, and death. About 5% of people who develop diphtheria die and many more suffer permanent damage. In the 1920s, before the diphtheria vaccine, there were 100,000 to 200,000 reported cases in the U.S. annually. Because of the high immunization level now, only about one case of diphtheria is reported annually.

Tetanus, also called lockjaw, produces a toxin that kills about 30% of those infected. More information about tetanus.

Tetanus is caused by bacteria in soil, dust, and manure. It causes muscle spasms throughout the body and can result from contamination of a wound, puncture wounds, animal bites, burns, and scrapes. Unlike other vaccine-preventable diseases, it is not spread from person to person. Between 40-60 cases of tetanus are reported in the U.S. annually. Death is more likely in newborn infants of unimmunized mothers and patients over 50.

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, can lead to spells of violent coughing and choking, making it hard to breathe. More information about pertussis.

Pertussis is an extremely contagious disease often spread by coughing or sneezing. Of those under a year old, more than half with pertussis are hospitalized. Of that group, 1 in 5 will get pneumonia, 1 in 100 will have convulsions, half will have apnea (slowed or stopped breathing), 1 in 300 will get encephalopathy (disease of the brain), and 1 in 100 will die. Many infants who get pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents, or caregivers who might not know they have the disease and have not been vaccinated for it. The majority of pertussis-related deaths are in infants.

People who should not receive the DTaP vaccine.

Children who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they recover; those who had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of DTaP should not get another dose; those who suffered a brain or nervous system disease within 7 days after a dose of DTaP should not get another dose. Talk with your doctor if your child had a seizure or collapsed after a dose of DTaP, cried nonstop for 3 hours or more after a dose of DTaP, or had a fever over 105 degrees after a dose of DTaP. Some of these children should not get another dose of pertussis vaccine but may get a vaccine without pertussis, called DT. Children with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated with DTaP vaccine.

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (Tdap)

Trade names: Adacel (for ages 11 through 64), Boostrix (for ages 10 through 64)

When given: 11-12 years Tdap is a vaccine for adolescents and adults that protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

Diphtheria is a very contagious disease that can cause breathing problems, heart failure, and death. More information about diphtheria.

Diphtheria, a bacterial disease, affects the respiratory system and skin. It causes sore throat, swollen neck, and weakness. It can lead to heart failure, coma, paralysis, and death. About 5% of people who develop diphtheria die and many more suffer permanent damage. In the 1920s, before the diphtheria vaccine, there were 100,000 to 200,000 reported cases in the U.S. annually. Because of the high immunization level now, only about one case of diphtheria is reported annually.

Tetanus, also called lockjaw, produces a toxin that kills about 30% of those infected. More information about tetanus.

Tetanus is caused by bacteria in soil, dust, and manure. It causes muscle spasms throughout the body and can result from contamination of a wound, puncture wounds, animal bites, burns, and scrapes. Unlike other vaccine-preventable diseases, it is not spread from person to person. Between 40-60 cases of tetanus are reported in the U.S. annually. Death is more likely in newborn infants of unimmunized mothers and patients over 50.

Pertussis, also called whooping cough, can lead to spells of violent coughing and choking, making it hard to breathe. More information about pertussis.

Pertussis is an extremely contagious disease often spread by coughing or sneezing. Of those under a year old, more than half with pertussis are hospitalized. Of that group, 1 in 5 will get pneumonia, 1 in 100 will have convulsions, half will have apnea (slowed or stopped breathing), 1 in 300 will get encephalopathy (disease of the brain), and 1 in 100 will die. Many infants who get pertussis are infected by older siblings, parents, or caregivers who might not know they have the disease and have not been vaccinated for it. The majority of pertussis-related deaths are in infants.

People who should not receive the Tdap vaccine.

Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of DTP, DTaP, DT, or Td should not get Tdap; anyone who has a severe allergy to any component of a vaccine should not get it; anyone who had a coma or long or multiple seizures within 7 days after a dose of DTP or DTaP should not get Tdap, unless a cause other than the vaccine was found (these people can get Td). The following people should talk to their doctor about getting it: Anyone with epilepsy or another nervous system problem; anyone who had severe swelling or severe pain after a previous dose of DTP, DTaP, DT, Td, or Tdap vaccine; anyone who has had Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS); and anyone who has a moderate or severe illness on the day the shot is scheduled. A person with a mild illness or low fever can usually be vaccinated.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Trade names: ACTHib, Hiberix, PedvaxHib

When given: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months (for some), and 12-15 months. Hiberix can be used for the final dose but not the primary series.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is contagious and can lead to life-threatening diseases. More information on Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

H. influenzae type b is very serious for infants and children younger than five. It is usually spread by coughing or sneezing but can lead to pneumonia, throat swelling that causes breathing difficulty, infection in other parts of the body (blood, joints, covering of the heart), and death. Before effective vaccines were introduced, one in 200 children developed invasive Hib disease by the age of 5. Sixty percent of these children had meningitis; 3%-6% died. Permanent results, ranging from mild hearing loss to mental retardation, affect 20%-30% of all survivors of meningitis. Approximately two-thirds of all cases of Hib disease affect infants and children less than 15 months old, a group for which a vaccine had not previously been available. With routine vaccinations since 1990, Hib disease in infants and young children has decreased by 99%.

People who should not receive the Hib vaccine.

Those who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of Hib vaccine, those less than 6 weeks of age, and those who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they recover.

Hepatitis A

Trade names: Havrix, Vaqta

When given: 12-23 months (two doses)

Hepatitis A is an acute liver disease caused by a virus, lasting from a few weeks to several months. More information about Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A symptoms can be absent (especially in children younger than 6) or can include fever, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, and yellow eyes and skin. It is caused by ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, or from close person-to-person contact or ingestion of contaminated food or drinks. About 10% to 15% of those infected will have prolonged or relapsing disease lasting up to six months. It does not lead to chronic infection. Each year in the U.S., 125,000 to 200,000 people become sick with hepatitis A. In the U.S., 70 to 100 people die, mostly those with underlying liver disease.

People who should not receive the hepatitis A vaccine.

Anyone who has ever had a severe (life-threatening) allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis A vaccine should not get another dose; anyone who has a severe (life-threatening) allergy to any vaccine component should not get the vaccine. (Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.) Anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. The safety of hepatitis A vaccine for pregnant women has not been determined, but there is no evidence that it is harmful to either pregnant women or their unborn babies. The risk, if any, is thought to be very low.

Hepatitis B

Trade Names: Engerix-B, Recombivax HB

When given: Birth, 1-2 months, and 6-18 months

Hepatitis B is a liver infection that can become chronic and cause cirrhosis, cancer, and death. More information about hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B can be spread simply by sharing a toothbrush or razor with an infected person. It is most often associated with sexually active people and IV drug users. Hepatitis B virus is not spread by sharing eating utensils, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. It can produce no symptoms or it can cause loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), joint pain, and skin rashes. It can stay in some people's bodies chronically and causes severe liver diseases including cancer. About 25% of babies and children with the chronic infection will die prematurely from liver diseases or cancer. Hepatitis B kills 3,000-5,000 Americans annually from cirrhosis and liver cancer. About 1.25 million people in the U.S. have chronic hepatitis B infection.

People who should not receive hepatitis B vaccine.

Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to baker's yeast or to any other component of the vaccine; those who had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine should not get another dose; anyone who is moderately or severely ill when a dose of vaccine is scheduled should wait until they recover.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Trade names: Cervarix, Gardasil

When given: Cervarix: females ages 10-25 for cervical cancers and precancers. Gardasil: females ages 9 to 26 for anal cancer and cancers and precancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva, and for genital warts; males ages 9 through 18 for genital warts. Three doses.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can infect men's and women's genital areas, mouths, and throats and may cause cancer. More information about HPV.

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. Some 120 viruses are included in the human papillomaviruses group. Two "high-risk" types may cause abnormal Pap tests and cause about 70% of the cases of cervical cancer in the U.S. About 20 million Americans are infected with HPV. Another 6 million people become newly infected each year. Most people aren't aware they have it, and the body usually clears the infection on its own. HPV is so common that at least 50% of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. About 1% of sexually active adults in the U.S. have genital warts at any one time. Each year, about 12,000 American women get cervical cancer; 3,700 get vulvar cancer; 1,000 get vaginal cancer; and 2,700 get anal cancer.

People who should not receive the Cervarix HPV vaccine.

Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any component of HPV vaccine, or to a previous dose of HPV vaccine, should not get the vaccine. Tell your doctor if the person getting vaccinated has any severe allergies, including an allergy to latex. HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. However, receiving HPV vaccine when pregnant is not a reason to consider terminating the pregnancy. Women who are breastfeeding may get the vaccine. People who are mildly ill when a dose of HPV vaccine is planned can still be vaccinated. People with a moderate or severe illness should wait until they are better.

People who should not receive the Gardasil HPV vaccine.

Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any component of HPV vaccine or to a previous dose of HPV vaccine. Tell your doctor if the person getting vaccinated has any severe allergies, including an allergy to yeast. HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. However, receiving HPV vaccine when pregnant is not a reason to consider terminating the pregnancy. Women who are breastfeeding may get the vaccine. People who are mildly ill when a dose of HPV vaccine is planned can still be vaccinated. People with a moderate or severe illness should wait until they are better.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella (Chickenpox)

Trade names: MMR-II (measles, mumps, rubella only), Pro-Quad (measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox), Varivax (chickenpox only)

When given: 12 months to 15 months and 4-6 years

Measles is an extremely contagious viral disease that spreads when people touch or breathe in infectious droplets passed by coughing and sneezing. More information about measles.

Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough, and a rash all over the body. About one out of 10 children with measles also gets an ear infection, and up to one out of 20 gets pneumonia. For every 1,000 children who get measles, one to three will die. There were 140 cases of measles in the United States in 2008; more than three-quarters of these cases were linked to imported measles from another country; most of the cases were unimmunized American children. While measles is almost gone from the United States, it still kills nearly 200,000 people each year around the world. Measles can also cause a pregnant woman to have a miscarriage or give birth prematurely.

Mumps, best known for the swelling of the cheeks and jaw, is usually a mild disease but can lead to complications. More information about mumps.

Mumps is a viral infection spread from person to person by secretions sneezed or coughed from the nose or throat. Up to half of people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms and do not know they were infected. Common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. The most common complication is inflammation of the testicles (orchitis) in males who have reached puberty, but it rarely causes fertility problems. It can also rarely cause meningitis, encephalitis, and permanent hearing loss. Before widespread vaccination, there were about 200,000 cases of mumps and 20 to 30 deaths reported each year in the U.S.

Rubella (German measles) is contagious, caused by a virus, and occurs most often in the winter and spring. More information about rubella.

Rubella is spread through close contact or the air. Children with rubella may have a low-grade fever along with a pink rash and swollen, tender glands at the back of the neck or behind the ears. But between 25% and 50% show no symptoms. Rubella in pregnant women often leads to congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) in their fetuses, a devastating disease characterized by deafness, mental retardation, cataracts and other eye defects, heart defects, and diseases of the liver and spleen. Before a vaccine was available, 12 million Americans caught rubella during a 1963-1964 outbreak. Because many were expectant mothers, 11,000 fetuses died and 20,000 babies were born with permanent disabilities after exposure to the virus. Now, about 1,000 cases of rubella and 10 cases of congenital rubella syndrome are reported annually.

Varicella (chickenpox) is highly contagious and usually causes a mild illness. More information about varicella (chickenpox).

Chickenpox causes a rash, itching, fever, and tiredness. It can lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death. The chickenpox virus can be spread from person to person through the air or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. After recovery from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the body and can reappear years later to cause shingles, a painful infection of the nerve roots. Prior to the introduction of the varicella vaccine, there were 3 to 4 million cases in the U.S. each year. About 10,000 people were hospitalized, and about 100 patients died.

People who should not receive the MMR vaccine.

Those who have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin, neomycin, or a previous dose of MMR; people who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they recover; and pregnant women. The following people should talk to their doctor about getting it: anyone with HIV/AIDS or a disease that affects the immune system; anyone being treated with drugs that affect the immune system for 2 weeks or longer, has cancer, is receiving cancer treatment with X-ray or drugs, has ever had a low platelet count, or has recently had a blood transfusion or other blood products.

People who should not receive the MMRV vaccine.

Those who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of MMRV vaccine or to either MMR or varicella vaccine; people who have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a component of the drug, gelatin, or neomycin. Tell the doctor if your child has any severe allergies. Other people who shouldn't get the vaccine include anyone with HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system; anyone being treated with drugs that affect the immune system, including high doses of oral steroids for 2 weeks or longer; and anyone with cancer or being treated for cancer with radiation or drugs. The following people should talk to their doctor about getting it: people with a history of seizures or who have a parent, brother, or sister with a history of seizures; people with a parent, brother, or sister with a history of immune system problems; people with a low platelet count or another blood disorder; anyone who recently had a transfusion or received other blood products; women who might be pregnant; and people who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled. Children who are only mildly ill may usually get the vaccine.

People who should not receive chickenpox (varicella) vaccine.

Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of chickenpox vaccine, gelatin, or the antibiotic neomycin; people who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they recover before getting the vaccine. Pregnant women should wait to get chickenpox vaccine until after they have given birth. Women should not get pregnant for 1 month after getting chickenpox vaccine. The following people should check with their doctor about getting the vaccine: anyone who has HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system; is being treated with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids, for 2 weeks or longer; has any kind of cancer; is getting cancer treatment with radiation or drugs; and people who recently had a transfusion or were given other blood products.

Meningococcal disease

Trade names: Menactra, Menomune, Menveo

When given: 11-12 years; booster dose at 16 years

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness that is fatal in 10%-15% of treated cases. More information about meningitis and meningococcal disease.

Meningitis is an infection of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal disease also causes life-threatening blood infections. Symptoms may include fever, stiff neck, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, joint pain and swelling, shock, and seizures. About 1,000-2,600 people get meningococcal disease each year in the U.S. Of those who survive, 11%-19% lose arms or legs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous systems, become mentally retarded, or suffer seizures or strokes. Meningococcal disease is most common in infants less than 1 year of age and people with medical conditions, such as lack of a spleen. It is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in American children 2-18. College freshmen who live in dormitories and teenagers 15-19 have an increased risk of getting meningococcal disease.

People who should not receive the meningococcal vaccine.

Anyone who has ever had a severe (life-threatening) allergic reaction to a previous dose of meningococcal vaccine or has a life-threatening allergy to any vaccine component; people who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled. People who ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS), should talk to their doctor before getting Menactra. Meningococcal vaccines may be given to pregnant women. However, Menactra is a new vaccine and has not been studied in pregnant women as much as Menomune has. It should be used only if clearly needed. No clinical trials have been done to evaluate using Menveo in pregnant or lactating women or people with weakened immune systems. Menveo should not be administered to people with any bleeding disorder or people receiving anticoagulant therapy.

Pneumococcal disease

Trade names: Prevnar 13 (PCV13), Pneumovax 23 (PPSV23) is a vaccine for adults 65 and older but can be used for children as young as 2 with chronic diseases or who are taking immunosuppressive medications.

When given: Prevnar 13: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months. Pneumovax 23: one dose; two in specific cases.

Pneumococcal disease is a contagious infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. It can lead to a variety of infections, including meningitis and pneumonia. More information about pneumococcal disease.

Pneumococcus causes bacterial infections in the middle ear, sinuses, lungs, bloodstream, and covering of the brain. Some strains of the bacteria have become resistant to the drugs that are used to treat them. Although pneumococcal meningitis is relatively rare (less than 1 case per 100,000 people each year), it is fatal in about 1 of 10 cases in children. Pneumococcal meningitis can also lead to other health problems, including deafness and brain damage. Before routine use of the vaccine, infections caused more than 700 cases of meningitis, 13,000 blood infections, about 5 million ear infections, and about 200 deaths annually in the U.S. in children younger than 5. Children younger than 2 are at higher risk for serious disease than older children.

People who should not receive the Prevnar 13 (PCV13) pneumococcal vaccine.

Those who had a serious (life-threatening) allergic reaction to a previous dose of this vaccine, to the previous Prevnar vaccine, or to any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid (for example, DTaP); children who have a severe allergy to any component of the previous Prevnar vaccine or Prevnar 13 should not get Prevnar 13; those who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot was scheduled should wait until they recover. People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated.

People who should not receive the Pneumovax 23 (PPSV23) pneumococcal vaccine.

Those who have had a life-threatening reaction to Pneumovax 23 or a severe allergy to any component of the vaccine; those who are moderately or severely ill at the time the shot was scheduled should wait until they recover. People with minor illnesses may be vaccinated. There is no evidence that PPSV is harmful to either a pregnant woman or to her fetus, but as a precaution, women at risk for pneumococcal disease should be vaccinated before becoming pregnant, if possible.

Polio

Trade name: Ipol (Note: Ipol is given as a shot. An oral polio vaccine, OPV, is no longer recommended for use in the U.S. because it carried a very slight risk of getting polio as a side effect.)

When given: 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and 4-6 years.

Polio can cause no symptoms or can cause sore throat, low-grade fever, nausea, and vomiting. But it can also rarely cause paralysis and death. More information on polio.

Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus that lives in the throat and intestinal tract. A 1916 polio epidemic in the U.S. killed 6,000 people and paralyzed 27,000 more. In the early 1950s, there were more than 20,000 cases of polio each year. Most of those infected were elementary school children, so it was often called "infantile paralysis." Polio vaccination was begun in 1955. By 1979, the number of cases had dropped to 10. No wild polio has been reported in the U.S. for more than 20 years. But the disease is still common in some parts of the world.

People who should not receive the polio vaccine (IPV).

Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotics neomycin, streptomycin, or polymyxin B; anyone who has a severe allergic reaction to a polio shot; anyone who is moderately or severely ill at the time the shot is scheduled should wait until they recover. People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated.

Rotavirus

Trade names: RotaTeq, Rotarix (Note: Both of these are oral vaccines.)

When given: 2 months, 4 months, and for some at 6 months

Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea and can lead to hospitalization for acute dehydration. More information about rotavirus.

Rotavirus infects nearly all children by the age of 5. In addition to severe diarrhea, symptoms often include fever and vomiting. The disease lasts a week or longer. Outbreaks can occur in childcare centers or after eating contaminated food such as shellfish, salads, or ice. Often, the food is contaminated by infected food handlers. Before the vaccine was approved in 2006, rotavirus was annually responsible for more than 400,000 doctor visits, more than 200,000 emergency room visits, 55,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations, and 20-60 deaths in the U.S.

People who should not receive the rotavirus vaccine.

A baby who has had a severe (life-threatening) allergic reaction to a dose of rotavirus vaccine or any component of rotavirus vaccine (tell your doctor if your baby has any severe allergies that you know of, including a severe allergy to latex); those who are moderately or severely ill, including those who have moderate or severe diarrhea or vomiting at the time the vaccination is scheduled, should wait until they recover. Babies with mild illnesses should usually get the vaccine. Check with your doctor if your baby's immune system is weakened because of HIV/AIDS or any other disease that affects the immune system, treatment with drugs such as long-term steroids, cancer, or cancer treatment with X-rays or drugs.
In the late 1990s, a different type of rotavirus vaccine was used and was found to be associated with a common type of bowel obstruction. It was taken off the market. If your child ever had bowel obstruction discuss this with your doctor.

Combination Vaccines

Combination vaccines are often given so doctors can reduce the number of shots a child receives. The following combination vaccines are available. For ingredients and side effects information, consult the list of the individual vaccines for similar ingredients that make up the combo vaccine. (Note: Some are not exactly the same.)

Trade name: TriHIBit (DTaP-Hib)

When given: It can be given for the fourth dose of the DTaP and Hib series vaccines (but not the primary series).

Trade name: Kinrix (DTap-IPV)

When given: It can be given for the fifth DTaP and fourth IPV booster at 4-6 years.

Trade Name: Pediarix (DTaP-HepB-IPV)

When given: It can be given for doses at 2, 4, and 6 months (through 6 years of age), but not for the booster shot.

Trade Name: Pentacel (DTaP-IPV-Hib)

When given: It can be given for doses at 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months, but not for the booster shot.

Flu (Influenza)

Trade names: Afluria, Agriflu, Fluarix, Flulaval, FluMist, Fluvirin, Fluzonee.

When given: Afluria (9 years and older), Agriflu (18 and older), Fluarix (3 years and older), Flulaval (18 and older), FluMist (2-49 years), Fluvirin (4 years and older), Fluzone (6 months and older). Children 6 months-8 years who get a seasonal flu vaccine for the first time should get two doses. Children who got only one dose of a flu vaccine in their first flu season should get two doses in their second flu season. For the 2010–2011 flu season, children 6 months-8 years who did not get at least one dose of 2009 H1N1 vaccine should get two doses of a 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine, regardless of previous flu vaccinations. Note: The FDA and CDC are investigating a possible link between Fluzone and an increased risk of febrile seizures.

Influenza, or flu, is a highly contagious disease spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions. More information about flu.

Flu viruses can quickly change, so vaccination is needed every year for new strains. Flu is very contagious, especially in childcare centers and schools, and epidemics happen during the winter nearly every year. Uncomplicated flu comes on suddenly, and symptoms include muscle aches, fever, chills, headache, cough, and runny nose; it lasts for 3-7 days although cough can last for two weeks. Young infants may have symptoms that look like serious bacterial infections with high fevers, leading to hospitalization. The majority of children hospitalized for flu infection are younger than 5 and a quarter of them are less than 6 months old. Influenza viruses can cause viral pneumonia, can make underlying medical conditions worse, and can lead to bacterial pneumonia, sinusitis, and ear infections. On average, influenza virus infections cause about 36,000 deaths and 148,000 hospitalizations each year in the U.S. During the regular 2009-2010 flu season (October to May), 276 pediatric deaths were reported.

People who should not receive the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine).

Influenza vaccine virus is grown in eggs, so people with a severe egg allergy or a severe allergy to any vaccine component should not get the vaccine. The following people should talk to their doctor about getting it: anyone who ever had a severe reaction after a dose of flu vaccine; anyone who ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting flu vaccine. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine.

People who should not receive the flu nasal spray vaccine (live intranasal influenza vaccine).

Adults 50 and older; children 6 to 23 months old; children younger than 5 years with asthma or one or more episodes of wheezing within the past year; pregnant women; people who have long-term health problems with heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease, metabolic disease (such as diabetes), asthma, anemia, and other blood disorders; anyone with certain muscle or nerve disorders (such as seizure disorders or cerebral palsy) that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems; anyone with a weakened immune system; anyone in close contact with someone whose immune system is so weak they require care in a protected environment (such as a bone marrow transplant unit); children or adolescents on long-term aspirin treatment.

Tell your health care provider if you have any severe (life-threatening) allergies. Allergic reactions to influenza vaccine are rare. Influenza vaccine virus is grown in eggs. People with a severe egg allergy or a severe allergy to any vaccine component should not get the vaccine. Tell your provider if you ever had a severe reaction after a dose of influenza vaccine; if you ever had Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS); if you have gotten any other vaccines in the past 4 weeks; if you have a nasal condition serious enough to make breathing difficult, such as a very stuffy nose (then you should get the flu shot instead). People who are moderately or severely ill when their vaccination is scheduled should wait until they recover to get the vaccine. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine.

Vaccine Risks & Side Effects

Please enter the information requested in the About Your Family tab, then submit the form to return here.

Before any vaccine is approved by the FDA, it must pass extensive safety tests. While the risk of serious injury from a vaccine is small, vaccine safety is monitored in several ways. These include the CDC and FDA's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System that allows the public to report side effects and the CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink project that works with eight large managed care organizations. In addition, the Institute of Medicine is completing a two-year review of side effects on eight vaccines, with results expected in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B Vaccine Known Side Effects

More than 100 million people have received hepatitis B vaccine in the United States. Mild problems include soreness where the shot was given (up to about 1 person in 4) and temperature of 99.9 degrees or higher (up to about 1 in 15). Known severe problems are extremely rare and include anaphylaxis and anaphylactic shock, a severe and potentially lethal allergic reaction that can occur up to 4 hours after immunization. Reactions happen about once in 1.1 million cases.

Other Information About Hepatitis B Vaccine:

Researchers investigated a possible link with Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS), but did not have enough evidence to accept or reject a link between the two. Researchers have studied and rejected possible links between the vaccine and these conditions: multiple sclerosis, alopecia (hair loss), and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Other serious reactions have been reported but there is no evidence that these have been caused by the vaccine. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious vaccine side effects on eight vaccines, including hepatitis B, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

DTaP Vaccine

DTaP Vaccine Known Side Effects (Mild)

Mild problems are common and include fever (up to about 1 child in 4); redness or swelling where the shot was given (up to about 1 in 4); and soreness or tenderness where the shot was given (up to about 1 in 4). These problems occur more often after the 4th and 5th doses of the DTaP series than after earlier doses. Sometimes the 4th or 5th dose of DTaP vaccine is followed by swelling of the entire arm or leg in which the shot was given, lasting 1-7 days (up to about 1 in 30). Other mild problems: fussiness (up to about 1 in 3), tiredness or poor appetite (up to about 1 in 10); and vomiting (up to about 1 in 50). These problems generally occur 1-3 days after the shot.

DTaP Vaccine Known Side Effects (Moderate to Severe)

Moderate problems are not common and include seizure (about 1 in 14,000); nonstop crying for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 in 1,000); and fever over 105 degrees (about 1 in 16,000). Severe problems are very rare and include anaphylactic shock (less than 1 in a million doses); brachial neuritis; and encephalitis.

Other Information about DTaP Vaccine

Several other severe problems have been reported after DTaP vaccine: long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness and permanent brain damage. These are so rare it is not known if they are caused by the vaccine. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious vaccine side effects on eight vaccines, including DTaP, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Rotavirus

Rotavirus Vaccine Side Effects

Babies are slightly more likely to be irritable or to have mild, temporary diarrhea or vomiting after a dose of rotavirus vaccine. A preliminary study in Mexico suggested a small increased risk of bowel obstruction after vaccinations with Rotarix. If the risk for U.S. infants is similar, there would be up to 4 cases of bowel obstruction for 100,000 infants vaccinated. The FDA and CDC urge parents whose child has been vaccinated for rotavirus to contact their doctor immediately if the child has stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the stool, or change in bowel movements, especially in the seven days after the first dose. These may be signs of bowel obstruction. Like all vaccines, rotavirus vaccine will continue to be monitored for unusual or severe problems.

Other Information About Rotavirus Vaccine

In the late 1990s, a different type of rotavirus vaccine was used. This vaccine was found to be associated with a common type of bowel obstruction and was taken off the market. However, babies who have ever had bowel obstruction are susceptible to recurrence. If your baby has ever had bowel obstruction, discuss this with your doctor.

Hib Vaccine

Hib Vaccine Side Effects

Mild problems include redness, warmth, or swelling where the shot was given (up to 1 child in 4); fever over 101 degrees (up to 1 in 20); and fussiness. Other problems include anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine or to an ingredient in it. Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness, or wheezing; hives; paleness; weakness; a fast heartbeat; or dizziness within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. If that happens, call a doctor or get the person to a doctor right away. Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given.

Pneumococcal vaccine

Prevnar 13 (PCV13) Vaccine Side Effects

In studies, most reactions after Prevnar 13 vaccinations were mild. They were similar to reactions reported with its predecessor, Prevnar (PCV7), which has been in use since 2000. About half of children were drowsy after the shot, had a temporary loss of appetite, or had redness or tenderness where the shot was given. About 1 in 3 had swelling where the shot was given; about 1 in 3 had a mild fever; and about 1 in 20 had a higher fever (over 102.2 degrees).

Pneumovax 23 (PPSV23) Vaccine Side Effects

About half of people who get Pneumovax 23 have mild side effects, such as redness or pain where the shot is given. Less than 1% develop a fever, muscle aches, or more severe local reactions. Watch for any unusual condition, such as a high fever or behavior changes. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If that happens, call a doctor or get the person to a doctor right away. Tell the doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given.

Polio Vaccine (IPV)

Polio Vaccine Side Effects

Some people who get IPV get a sore spot where the shot was given. The vaccine used today has never been known to cause any serious problems, and most people don't have any problems. Note: There are two kinds of polio vaccine: IPV, which is the shot recommended in the U.S. today, and a live, oral polio vaccine (OPV), drops that are swallowed. For a few people (about one in 2.4 million), OPV actually causes polio. Since the risk of getting polio in the U.S. is now extremely low, experts believe that using oral polio vaccine is no longer worth the slight risk. The polio shot (IPV) does not cause polio.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccines (MMR, MMRV, Varicella)

MMR Vaccine Side Effects

Mild problems include fever (up to 1 person in 6); mild rash (about 1 in 20); and swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck (rare). Moderate problems: seizure (jerking or staring) caused by fever (about 1 in 3,000 doses); temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women (up to 1 in 4); and temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder (about 1 in 30,000 doses). Severe problems (very rare) include anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, encephalitis, and chronic arthritis.

MMR Vaccine (Other):

Other severe problems happen so rarely that experts cannot be sure whether they are caused by the vaccine or not. They include deafness; long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness; permanent brain damage, and vaccine-strain measles viral infection in people whose immune systems are compromised. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious side effects on eight vaccines, including MMR, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

MMRV Vaccine

MMRV Vaccine Side Effects (Mild to Moderate):

Mild problems include fever (about 1 child in 5); mild rash (about 1 in 20); and swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck (rare). Moderate problems include seizure caused by fever (about 1 in 1,250), usually 5-12 days after the first dose (they happen less often when MMR and varicella vaccines are given at the same visit as separate shots (about 1 child in 2,500 who get these two vaccines) and rarely after a second dose of MMRV); and temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder (about 1 in 40,000).

MMRV Vaccine Side Effects (Severe):

Severe problems are very rare. Some that have been reported following MMR vaccine might also happen after MMRV. These include severe allergic reactions (fewer than 4 per million) and problems such as deafness, long-term seizures, coma, lowered consciousness; and permanent brain damage. Because these problems occur so rarely, it isn't certain whether they are caused by the vaccine. Other severe problems (very rare) include anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, chronic arthritis, and vaccine-strain measles viral infection in people whose immune systems are compromised. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious side effects on eight vaccines, including measles, mumps rubella and varicella, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine Side Effects

Mild problems include soreness or swelling where the shot was given (about 1 child in 5 and up to 1 in 3 adolescents and adults); fever (1 person in 10, or fewer); and mild rash up to a month after vaccination (1 in 25). It is possible for those vaccinated to infect other members of their household, but this is extremely rare. Moderate problems (very rare) include seizure (jerking or staring) caused by fever. Severe problems (very rare) include pneumonia.

Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine (Other)

Other serious problems, including severe brain reactions and low blood count, have been reported after varicella vaccination. They happen so rarely experts cannot tell whether they are caused by the vaccine. If they are, they are extremely rare. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious side effects on eight vaccines, including varicella, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

Hepatitis A Vaccine Side Effects

Mild problems: soreness at the injection site (about 1 in 2 adults, and up to 1 in 6 children); headache (about 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 25 children); loss of appetite (about 1 in 12 children); and tiredness (about 1 in 14 adults). Severe problems (very rare): serious allergic reaction within a few minutes to a few hours of the shot.

Hepatitis A Vaccine (Other):

Reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS), abnormal liver enzymes, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (a disorder destroying blood platelets), and seizures among children were reviewed. The relation, if any, between the vaccine and these reported side effects was not clear. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious side effects on eight vaccines, including hepatitis A, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccine

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccine Side Effects (Mild)

Mild problems include pain (about 3 in 4 adolescents and 2 in 3 adults), redness or swelling (about 1 in 5), mild fever of at least 100.4 degrees (up to about 1 in 25 adolescents and 1 in 100 adults), headache (about 4 in 10 adolescents and 3 in 10 adults), tiredness (about 1 in 3 adolescents and 1 in 4 adults), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomachache (up to 1 in 4 adolescents and 1 in 10 adults), chills, body aches, sore joints, rash, and swollen glands (uncommon). Moderate problems include pain at the injection site (about 1 in 20 adolescents and 1 in 100 adults), redness or swelling (up to about 1 in 16 adolescents and 1 in 25 adults), fever over 102 degrees (about 1 in 100 adolescents and 1 in 250 adults), headache (1 in 300), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomachache (up to 3 in 100 adolescents and 1 in 100 adults), and extensive swelling of the arm where the shot was given (up to about 3 in 100).

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Vaccine Side Effects (Severe)

Severe problems (very rare): Anaphylactic shock (less than 1 in a million doses); brachial neuritis, inflammation of nerves in the arm causing muscle weakness and pain; and encephalitis. Other: Two adults had nervous system problems after getting the vaccine during clinical trials. These may or may not have been caused by the vaccine. These problems went away on their own and did not cause any permanent harm. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious side effects on eight vaccines, including Tdap, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

HPV Vaccines (Cervarix, Gardasil)

Cervarix HPV Vaccine Known Side Effects

Mild to moderate problems include pain where the shot was given (about 9 in 10); redness or swelling where the shot was given (about 1 in 2). Other mild reactions: fever of 99.5 degrees or higher (about 1 in 8); headache or fatigue (about 1 in 2); nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain (about 1 in 4); muscle or joint pain (up to 1 in 2). Life-threatening allergic reactions from vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it would be within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

Gardasil Vaccine Known Side Effects

Mild to moderate problems include pain in the arm where the shot was given (about 8 people in 10); redness or swelling in the arm where the shot was given (about 1 in 4); mild fever of 100 degrees (about 1 in 10), moderate fever of 102 degrees (about 1 in 65). Other problems include headache (about 1 in 3). Life-threatening allergic reactions from vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it would be within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

Cervarix and Gardasil Vaccines (Other)

Brief fainting spells and related symptoms (such as jerking movements) can happen after any medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes after a vaccination can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by falls. Serious allergic reactions include rash; swelling of the hands, feet, face, or lips; and breathing difficulty. For Gardasil specifically, the CDC has investigated reports of 56 deaths in females who received the vaccine but has not found evidence they were caused by the vaccine. It also investigated Gardasil and risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS), and found no increase from the vaccine. There have been reports of blood clots in the heart, lungs, and legs after receiving the vaccine, mostly from people who had higher risk factors for blood clots, such as smoking or taking birth control pills. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious side effects on eight vaccines, including HPV, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Meningococcal Vaccines

Meningococcal Vaccines Side Effects

Mild problems (about 1 in 2 people) include redness or pain where the shot was given (more common after Menactra and Menveo than after Menomune.) A small percentage of people who receive the vaccine develop a fever. Headache and nausea were also reported with Menveo. Fainting and sometimes seizure-like activity have been reported after vaccination with Menveo. Severe problems include serious allergic reactions within a few minutes to a few hours of the shot, but they are very rare.

Meningoccocal Vaccines Side Effects (Other)

A serious nervous system disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) has been reported among some people who received Menactra. This happens so rarely that it is not possible to tell if the vaccine might be a factor. The potential risk of GBS following administration of Menveo has not been studied. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of serious side effects on eight vaccines, including meningococcal vaccines, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Flu (Influenza) Vaccine

Flu Vaccine Side Effects (Flu Shot)

Mild side effects include: soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given; hoarseness; sore, red or itchy eyes; cough; fever; and aches. Severe problems (rare): Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If that happens, call a doctor or get the person to a doctor right away. Tell the doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when the vaccination was given.

Flu Vaccine Side Effects (Other)

In 1976, a type of swine flu vaccine was associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a severe paralytic illness. Since then, flu vaccines have not been clearly linked to GBS. However, if there is a risk of GBS from current flu vaccines, it would be no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated. If you have ever had GBS, tell your health care provider.

Flu Vaccine Side Effects (Nasal Spray)

The nasal spray vaccine is made from live weakened flu virus and does not cause influenza. Mild problems include: Some children and adolescents 2-18 years old have reported runny nose, nasal congestion or cough, fever, headache and muscle aches, wheezing, abdominal pain or occasional vomiting, and diarrhea. Some adults 18-49 years old have reported runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, chills, tiredness/weakness, and headache. Severe problems for flu nasal spray vaccine include: Life-threatening allergic reactions from vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

Flu Vaccine (Other)

It takes up to two weeks for protection to develop after getting the vaccine. Protection lasts about a year. Some types of flu shots contain the preservative thimerosal. Thimerosal-free influenza vaccinations are available. An Institute of Medicine Committee is completing a two-year review of vaccine adverse event studies on eight vaccines, including influenza vaccines, for release in June 2011, for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Print  

Vaccine Ingredients and Their Uses

Please enter the information requested in the About Your Family tab, then submit the form to return here.

Ingredients are added to vaccines for a variety of reasons: Some make them more effective, meaning smaller and fewer doses of the vaccine are given. Other ingredients may protect against bacterial contamination during or after manufacture, inactivate viruses used to make the vaccine, and protect them from extreme heat and cold. Ingredients in some vaccines, such as yeast, may cause allergic reactions, while there have been concerns about the side effects of others. Read the list to get ingredients for vaccines and then see specific information below about their uses.

Hepatitis B

Engerix-B: Aluminum Hydroxide, Phosphate Buffers, Thimerosal (trace amount), Yeast Protein.

Recombivax: Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate, Amino Acids, Dextrose, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Mineral Salts, Potassium Aluminum Sulfate, Soy Peptone, Yeast Protein.

DTaP

Daptacel: Aluminum Phosphate, Ammonium Sulfate, Casamino Acid, Dimethyl-beta-cyclodextrin, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Glutaraldehyde, 2-Phenoxyethanol.

Infanrix: Aluminum Hydroxide, Bovine Extract, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Glutaraldhyde, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 80.

Tripedia: Aluminum Potassium Sulfate, Ammonium Sulfate, Bovine Extract, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Gelatin, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Phosphate, Thimerosal (trace amount).

Rotavirus

RotaTeq: Cell Culture Media, Fetal Bovine Serum, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Phosphate Monobasic Monohydrate, Sodium Hydroxide Sucrose, Polysorbate 80.

Rotarix: Amino Acids, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Chloride, D-glucose, Dextran, Ferric (III) Nitrate, L-cystine, L-tyrosine, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenol Red, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Hydrogenocarbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium L-glutamine, Sodium Pyruvate, Sorbitol, Sucrose, Vitamins, Xanthan.

Hib

ACTHib: Ammonium Sulfate, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Sucrose.

Hiberix: Formaldehyde or Formalin, Lactose.

Hiberix: Formaldehyde or Formalin, Lactose.

Pneumococcal

Pneumovax: Bovine Protein, Phenol.

Prevnar 13: Aluminum Phosphate, Amino Acid, Polysorbate 80, Soy Peptone, Succinate Buffer, Yeast Extract.

Polio (IPV)

Ipol: Calf Serum Protein, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Monkey Kidney Tissue, Neomycin, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Polymyxin B, Streptomycin.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

MMR-II: Amino Acid, Bovine Albumin or Serum, Chick Embryo Fibroblasts, Human Serum Albumin, Gelatin, Glutamate, Neomycin, Phosphate Buffers, Sorbitol, Sucrose, Vitamins.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella (chickenpox) (MMRV)

ProQuad: Bovine Albumin or Serum, Gelatin, Human Serum Albumin, Monosodium L-glutamate, MRC-5 Cellular Protein, Neomycin, Sodium Phosphate Dibasic, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sorbitol, Sucrose, Potassium Phosphate Monobasic, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Phosphate Dibasic.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

Varivax: Bovine Albumin or Serum, Ethylenediamine-Tetraacetic Acid Sodium (EDTA), Gelatin, Monosodium L-Glutamate, MRC-5 DNA and Cellular Protein, Neomycin, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Phosphate Monobasic, Sodium Phosphate Monobasic, Sucrose.

Hepatitis A

Havrix: Aluminum Hydroxide, Amino Acids, Formaldehyde or Formalin, MRC-5 Cellular Protein, Neomycin Sulfate, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Phosphate Buffers, Polysorbate.

Vaqta: Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate, Bovine Albumin or Serum, DNA, Formaldehyde or Formalin, MRC-5 Cellular Protein, Sodium Borate.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Whooping Cough) (Tdap)

Adacel: Aluminum Phosphate, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Glutaraldehyde, 2-Phenoxyethanol.

Boostrix: Aluminum Hydroxide, Bovine Extract, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Glutaraldehyde, Polysorbate 80.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Cervarix: 3-O-desacyl-4'-monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), Aluminum Hydroxide, Amino Acids, Insect Cell Protein, Mineral Salts, Sodium Dihydrogen Phosphate Dihydrate, Vitamins.

Gardasil: Amino Acids, Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate, Carbohydrates, L-histidine, Mineral Salts, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Borate, Vitamins.

Meningococcal Disease

Menactra: Formaldehyde or Formalin, Phosphate Buffers.

Menomune: Lactose, Thimerosal (10-dose vials only).

Menveo: Amino Acid, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Yeast.

Flu (Influenza)

Afluria: Beta-Propiolactone, Calcium Chloride, Neomycin, Ovalbumin, Polymyxin B, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Taurodeoxychoalate.

Agriflu: Cetyltrimethylammonium Bromide (CTAB), Egg Protein, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Kanamycin, Neomycin Sulfate, Polysorbate 80.

Fluarix: Egg Albumin (Ovalbumin), Egg Protein, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Gentamicin, Hydrocortisone, Octoxynol-10, alpha-Tocopheryl Hydrogen Succinate, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Deoxycholate, Sodium Phosphate, Thimerosal (trace amount).

Flulaval: Egg Albumin (Ovalbumin), Egg Protein, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Sodium Deoxycholate, Phosphate Buffers, Thimerosal.

FluMist: Chick Kidney Cells, Egg Protein, Gentamicin Sulfate, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose Phosphate Glutamate Buffer.

Fluvirin: Beta-Propiolactone, Egg Protein, Neomycin, Polymyxin B, Polyoxyethylene 9-10 Nonyl Phenol (Triton N-101, Octoxynol 9), Thimerosal (multidose containers), Thimerosal (trace amount, single-dose syringes).

Fluzone: Egg Protein, Formaldehyde or Formalin, Gelatin, Octoxinol-9 (Triton X-100), Thimerosal (multidose containers).

Why Aluminum Is in Vaccines

Aluminum improves how the body responds to a vaccine and has been used for more than 70 years. Aluminum salts also include aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, and aluminum potassium sulfate. During the first 6 months of life, infants could receive about 4 milligrams of aluminum from vaccines. A milligram is one-thousandth of a gram, and a gram is the weight of one-fifth of a teaspoon of water. During the same period, babies will also receive about 10 milligrams of aluminum in breast milk, about 40 milligrams in infant formula, or about 120 milligrams in soy-based formula.

Why Antibiotics Are in Vaccines

Antibiotics are used in some vaccine production to help prevent bacterial contamination during manufacturing. Although some antibiotics can cause severe allergic reactions in those children allergic to them (like hives, swelling at the back of the throat, and low blood pressure), those most likely to cause severe allergic reactions (e.g., penicillins, cephalosporins, and sulfa drugs) are not used in vaccine production. Examples of antibiotics used during vaccine manufacture include neomycin, polymyxin B, streptomycin, and gentamicin. They are usually present in very small amounts or are undetectable and have not been clearly associated with severe allergic reactions.

Why Cell Culture Material Is in Vaccines

Several vaccines are made in cells grown in laboratory cultures that are maintained in nourishing environments called culture media. These include bovine albumin, extract, and serum; chick embryo fibroblasts; human serum albumin; fetal bovine serum; bovine protein; calf serum protein; egg albumin and egg protein; and monkey kidney tissue. The FDA requires manufacturers to list on vaccine labels all organisms, culture media, and methods used to inactivate the organisms.

Why Formaldehyde Is in Vaccines

Formaldehyde has long been used in vaccines to inactivate viruses (e.g., influenza, polio) and to detoxify bacterial toxins (e.g. diphtheria) that are used in certain vaccines. Formaldehyde is diluted during the manufacturing process, but residual amounts may be found in some current vaccines. Although high concentrations of formaldehyde are known to cause cancer, the average quantity of formaldehyde a young infant could be exposed to at one time through vaccines is very small and is considered to be safe. Formaldehyde is needed for our metabolism, and all humans have detectable quantities of natural formaldehyde in their bodies.

Why Gelatin Is in Vaccines

Gelatin protects vaccine viruses from conditions such as freeze-drying or heat. It is a protein formed by boiling skin or connective tissue. Gelatin is used to stabilize vaccines so that they remain effective after manufacturing. All gelatin contained in vaccines comes from pigs. People allergic to gelatin should check with their health care provider before receiving vaccines containing this ingredient.

Why Thimerosal Is in Vaccines

Thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury, is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose to prevent contamination and growth of bacteria. It is also used during manufacturing to prevent bacterial growth but removed after production. There is no convincing evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure. Where thimerosal is noted as a trace amount, it indicates that the product should be considered equivalent to thimerosal-free products. This vaccine may contain trace amounts (<0.3 micrograms) of mercury left after post-production thimerosal removal, but these amounts have no biological effect.

Why Yeast Is in Vaccines

Yeast is used as a vaccine ingredient to deliver antigens, which are proteins usually on the surface of cells or organisms that stimulate immune responses. Yeast can also used to make a vaccine itself. Anyone with a life-threatening allergy to baker's yeast, or to any other component of a vaccine, should not get vaccines containing yeast.

Print  
Bottom Border