Toddlers (12 months – 24 months)

As kids begin to grow, they can be around other kids and adults who may or may not be vaccinated. One of the best ways to keep your toddler healthy is keeping up to date with immunizations.

Immunizing your toddler

After the first year of life, your baby is starting to talk, walk and remember things. One of those things your child probably remembers is that what a trip to the doctor’s office really means. Below are some tips for dealing with your toddler – although we understand that some are easier said than done!

To prepare yourself

  • Bring your child’s immunization record to the visit with you.
  • Know what vaccines your child should be getting 
  • If your toddler is now walking, talk to the doctor or nurse about giving shots in your child’s arm and not in his or her leg. It will feel better for your toddler.

Tips that help your toddler

  • Keep you healthy: Try explaining to your older toddler about why he/she is getting a shot; that it will keep him/her healthy from getting “boo-boo’s.”
  • Honesty: Be honest about upcoming shots. Don’t say there isn’t going to be a shot when there is going to be one. This may make your toddler associate mistrust with doctors.
  • Fast and Painless: Let your toddler know it’s okay to cry, but encourage him/her to be brave. Explain that a shot doesn’t hurt much (a lot less than scraping a knee) and it only hurts a second. Show your toddler what a second really means.
  • Deep Breath: Keep your cool. If you are stressed, your toddler’s bound to pick up on it.
  • Control: If it’s okay with your doctor, allow your toddler to choose the site for injection (left or right arm) to give your child a sense of control.
  • Distractions: Consider bringing a favorite stuffed animal, a favorite book or blowing bubbles. Having the doctor examine the stuffed animal first can ease some of the anxiety.
  • Offer Praise: No matter how it goes, praise your toddler. This could help for next time.
  • Post-Shot Treats: Promise a treat after the shot and deliver on the promise no matter how poorly it goes.
  • Never use a shot as a threat: As in “If you don’t stop crying, I’m bringing you to the doctor for a shot.”

Growing Up with Vaccines—What Should Parents Know

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FDA NEWS UPDATE: Today, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Committee (VRBPAC) greenlit the use of booster doses for: ages 65+, those at high risk for severe COVID-19, and those at high risk for occupational exposure (such as frontline healthcare workers). This is only for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine and does not apply to those who got Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.While the advisory panel voted to expand the emergency use authorization (EUA) on Pfizer’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to include an additional dose for these specific groups, the experts opted NOT to approve boosters for everyone 16 and up at this time. They did not believe there is enough safety data yet to show that the benefits of boosters outweigh potential risks in other groups.It is now up to CDC’s independent advisory committee (ACIP) to meet and make an official recommendation, which is expected to happen next week. Our system works like this: first, the FDA advisory panel votes - which happened today. Next, the FDA will decide whether to follow VRBPAC’s recommendation, which is likely to happen in the coming days. Once the FDA decides IF boosters can be made available based on the data, then the ACIP decides who SHOULD get the newly authorized booster. The CDC then reviews ACIP’s recommendations and makes the final decision on who should get the boosters and when. It’s important to remember that the primary 2 doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines AND the J&J vaccine continue to provide very good protection against severe illness. This update does NOT mean that COVID-19 vaccines don’t work. It also doesn’t mean that other people won’t need boosters in the future. VRBPAC experts simply need more information about the benefits and risks of a booster dose in other people before making a decision. Boosters are a tool we have to try to stay ahead of the virus. As we learn more about the COVID-19 virus and variants, we will continue to need to change how we respond to protect ourselves and our communities. We’ll share more information as it becomes available. COVID-19 vaccines remain the best tool we have against this pandemic. Mask up, vax up. More info: ... See MoreSee Less
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Stay up to date on your vaccinations