Immunization Philosophy

We believe that immunizations are vital to your child’s health. They not only protect your child from deadly diseases like meningitis, measles, hepatitis, whooping cough, flu and others, but they also protect other children your child comes into contact with. We follow the vaccination schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)


IMMUNIZATION FAQs 

Why should I vaccinate my child?

Vaccines are one of the most important medical developments over the last century. They have been the main reason illnesses such as polio, h. influenza, mumps and measles are no longer prevalent in the United States. Pediatrics East recommends that all children receive routine vaccinations. Please download our handout "Why Vaccinate?" for more information. 

I am worried about my child getting autism from vaccines. Should I really be worried?

No. Several studies have been conducted in the U.S. and in other countries. Not one of those studies has ever linked vaccines to autism. The main concern in vaccines has been the use of thimerosal, which is a derivative of mercury, as a preservative. Since 2001, all routine vaccines (except for some influenza vaccines and the combination DTap/Hib which contains very trace amounts of thimerosol) have had thimerosal removed. Despite the removal of thimerosol, we are still seeing an increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism, thus making the link between vaccines and autism less sound. Please see our handout "Vaccines, Thimerosal and Autism" for more information. 

What are the side effects of the vaccines?

Each of the vaccines has its own side effects, most of which are mild (e.g., fever, local soreness or redness at the injection site). Please see the Vaccine Information Sheets (VIS) for the individual vaccine you are inquiring about. For a dosing chart for acetaminophen and ibuprofen, please see our handout on Medications for Fever. 

My child is behind on his/her vaccines. What should I do?

A schedule to catch-up on your child's immunizations if he/she is behind should be determined by your child's pediatrician. You should schedule a well-child appointment for your child as soon as possible.

What if I do not have insurance or if my insurance does not cover vaccinations?

If you child does not have insurance or does not receive Medicaid benefits, your child is eligible to receive vaccines through our Vaccines for Children (VFC) supply of vaccines. You will only pay a nominal vaccine administration charge to us and will not have to pay for the vaccines themselves. If you have private insurance that does not pay for routine vaccinations, we advise that you contact Tot Shots at 205-930-1450 or click here for the Tot Shots website. Tot Shots provides free vaccines to people who do not have insurance coverage for vaccines. Tot Shots clinics are held monthly at various locations around Birmingham. Call Tot Shots for information and clinic times and locations. Your child should still have his/her routine check-ups at Pediatrics East. If your child receives vaccines through Tot Shots, please bring documentation of the vaccination with you to your child's check-up.