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Home > Health Topics > Podcasts > Childhood Immunizations Protect Children

Childhood Immunizations Protect Children

April 17, 2008

William Walker, MD
Contra Costa Health Services

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When I was a kid, I dreaded getting shots. Sure, they only hurt for a second and just felt like a sharp pinch, but just the thought of getting a shot scared me. But in retrospect, I know that while I didn't enjoy shots, I would've suffered a lot more if I had gotten a vaccine-preventable disease like polio or tetanus.

I'm Dr. William Walker, Director of Contra Costa Health Services, here to talk to you about the importance of childhood immunizations.

As a parent who watched my own children grow up, I always wanted to protect my children from anything unpleasant or harmful, especially when it came to their health. One of the best ways to protect your child from various diseases is to make sure your child gets the vaccinations that they need on time.

Vaccines can protect your children from diseases that still occur in the United States, such as chicken pox, measles, and pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Illness from these diseases can lead to hospitalization and even death in children.

Vaccinations are also the best ways to protect your children from diseases such as polio or diphtheria which are now eradicated or extremely rare in the United States, but still commonly occur in other parts of the world. International travel makes continued vaccination for these diseases in the United States very important.

Also, since young children are often most at risk for serious complications from vaccine-preventable diseases, it is very important for children to get the immunizations they need and to get them on time. To make sure your child is getting all the vaccines he or she needs to stay healthy, talk to your medical provider about what vaccinations your child has received and/or needs to receive. For more information about childhood immunizations and a recommended schedule for children's immunizations, please visit

Thanks for listening.

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