Vaccines Specialist

NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine

Pediatricians located in Springfield, VA & Woodbridge, VA

Every parent wants to keep their child healthy and free from illness, and vaccines form an essential part of every child's health care. The team at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine in Springfield and Woodbridge, Virginia, creates vaccination schedules for each of their young patients to ensure they remain protected against potentially severe illness. Is your child up-to-date on their vaccines? If not, make an appointment today over the phone or through this website.

Vaccines Q & A

What is a vaccine?

Vaccines protect your child from contracting harmful pathogens and viruses that could prove life-threatening when caught at such a young age. 

Most of the time, the body's natural immune system keeps harmful pathogens — organisms that produce disease — out. But sometimes pathogens can overwhelm the immune system, especially in children when the immune system is still developing. When this happens, your child can become very sick.

Some vaccines contain a safe and controlled amount of a disease or virus, and others use engineered DNA. Both processes allow the immune system to learn how to recognize and eliminate it. Should you come into contact with the disease again, you're either entirely immune to it, or its symptoms are much reduced.

It's natural to have questions about vaccines. The team at NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine are happy to discuss how vaccines work to put your mind at ease.

Why are vaccines important?

Children are particularly vulnerable to illness. They're surrounded by other children at school and daycare, and their immune systems are not yet as strong as adults. 

Vaccines keep your child safe from contracting viruses and help keep the people around them safe, too. That is why many schools make it mandatory for children to have an up-to-date vaccine record before they can attend.

Vaccines are also an extremely cost-effective way to manage your child's health, preventing possibly lengthy and expensive treatments and hospital stays should your child contract one of the pathogens.

What vaccines should my child have?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends several vaccines for children aged 18 and under. They include:

  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Rotavirus (RV)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP)
  • Meningitis (MenACWY/MenB)
  • Hepatitis B (HepB)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV for children over nine)

Your provider creates a vaccine schedule for your child to ensure they are protected. Your child's first vaccine is the HepB vaccine, given just a few days after birth, and they continue to have vaccines right up until they turn 18. However, the majority of vaccines occur in their first year. 

Is your child overdue for a vaccine? Call NOVA Pediatrics and Young Adult Medicine today or book an appointment online.