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Vaccinations for Immunity

Vaccinations help build immunity by priming the immune system to fight pathogens, like viruses or bacteria. A vaccine will enable an immune response to keep the body healthy.


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What Are Vaccinations?

Vaccinations play an important role in the health of your child, family, and public health. They prevent the spreading of contagious diseases such as:

  • Polio
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Diphtheria
  • HPV

 What Is the Importance of Vaccinations?

A vaccine, like the flu shot, is an immunization. It builds up your body’s natural immunity to a disease with antibodies. When your immunity is built up, it keeps you from contracting and spreading the disease.

Vaccines are used to help build your immune system for protection. Most of them are given to children. In some cases, vaccines are combined so children can be given fewer shots. Antibodies can stay in your body for life, protecting you from sickness and disease. With antibodies, your body builds up a defense system called your immune system.It’s very important to follow the Center for Disease Control’s Recommended Schedule for your child.

Vaccines provide protection from a wide range of contagious diseases. A cold virus for example is usually a mild irritation. However, smallpox and polio caused life changing problems and death. History has taught us that taking preventative steps is extremely effective. Vaccines protect you, protect children and protect public health.

Who Needs Vaccinations?

Vaccines are recommended for infants, children, teenagers, and adults. They are especially important for at risk populations like young children and older adults.

The best way to identify what vaccines you may need is to visit your Horizon Health provider. Our providers will review your medical history, including your immunization history and any risk factors associated with recommended vaccines. Some people shouldn’t get vaccines, such as infants under two months of age or a person with a particular medical issue. This is just one of the reasons Horizon Health Care providers want to know your whole health history. That way, we can discuss all medical interactions, including vaccines.

In addition, there are people who simply don’t respond to them. That’s why it’s very important for the family, friends and children around them to all get vaccinated. When the majority of a population is immune, diseases have trouble spreading.

Immunization Schedule for Children

Immunizing your child against preventable diseases is essential in protecting their health, as well as the health of other children. Children are required to have updated immunizations when attending school or daycare.

For babies, it is recommended your child receives all immunization by 18 months of age.

Recommended Immunization Schedule for Babies:

Hepatitis B

  • Quantity: 3 Doses
  • When: Birth, 1-2 Months, 6-18 Months

Rotavirus (must be younger than 8 months old)

  • Quantity: 3 Doses
  • When: 2 Months, 4 Months, 6 Months

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP)

  • Quantity: 5 Doses
  • When: 2 Months, 4 Months, 6 Months, 15-18 Months

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)

  • Quantity: 3-4 Doses
  • When: 2 Months, 4 Months, 12-15 Months

Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV)

  • Quantity: 4 Doses
  • When: 2 Months, 4 Months, 6 Months, 12-15 Months

Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV)

  • Quantity: 4 Doses
  • When: 2 Months, 4 Months, 6-18 Months, 4-6 Years

Seasonal Influenza

  • Quantity: 1 or 2 Doses Annually

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

  • Quantity: 2 Doses
  • When: 12-15 Months, 4-6 Years

Varicella (Chickenpox)

  • Quantity: 2 Doses
  • When: 12-15 Months, 4-6 Years

Hepatitis A

  • Quantity: 2 Doses
  • When: 1 Year, 4-6 Years

Respiratory Syncytial Virus

  • Quantity: 2 Doses
  • When: Birth-6 Months, 6-18 Months

Recommended Immunizations Schedule for Adolescents


  • Quantity: 1 Dose Annually

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (TDaP)

  • Quantity: 1 Dose
  • When: Ages 11-12 (Required in South Dakota for 6th grade entry)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Quantity: 2 Doses
  • When: Ages 11-12
  • Or 3 doses to be given if first vaccine is given at age 15 or older


  • When: Age 11 (Required in South Dakota for 6th grade entry)
  • Boosters at Age 16

Keep Their Health on Track with Scheduled Immunizations

At Horizon Health, vaccinations for babies will occur more frequently due to the need for building up their immunities. These exams also include growth measurements and discussions of your child’s behavior, development, nutrition, and sleeping habits.

  • Schedule a well-child exam at 15 and 18 months of age.
  • Schedule well-child annual exams from ages 2-6.
  • Schedule more frequent exams for children with special needs and chronic health conditions.

For adolescents (ages 10-19), their immunizations will occur during annual wellness exams.

Contact Us for Your Immunizations

Horizon Health encourages you to stay up-to-date on all vaccinations for you, your family and the health of the public. Still have questions? Reach out to us any time about vaccinations and how they protect you.

Contact a Horizon clinic near you to complete your enrollment in the program.



Vaccinations FAQ

As your primary care provider, Horizon Health always encourages you to ask any questions you may have.

Throughout the years, there have been myths spread about vaccinations. Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding vaccines.

Do vaccines cause autism for children?

NO, vaccines do NOT cause autism in children.

No matter what you may read or hear, there have been no credible studies linking vaccines to the development of autism. Current research suggests infants may be born with autism, long before any vaccine is introduced.

Can my infant handle vaccines?

YES, an infant’s immune system can handle a vaccine.

Infants are exposed to hundreds of viruses and bacteria each day. So in fact, they’re immune system can handle much more than a vaccine.

Are vaccines harmful at all?

Vaccines do NOT contain toxins that will harm you.

Some vaccines contain substances such as formaldehyde, aluminum, and mercury. But the amount is so small that the vaccines are completely safe and effective. These products are used to create safe vaccines and the toxic forms of these substances are not used in vaccines.

Do vaccines cause the flu?

Vaccines do NOT cause the flu or other diseases.

Many people believe the flu shot actually causes the flu. This is a pretty common misconception. You can experience mild symptoms that resemble the illness, but that is your body creating the antibodies needed. But you do not actually have the disease. Most flu vaccines are dead or dramatically weakened versions of the virus.

Do I need vaccines if infection goes down?

YES, we do still need vaccines, even with infections declining.

The United States has a very high vaccination rate. But that is no reason to be complacent.

Many serious diseases are still commonplace in other areas of the world. And if you’re not vaccinated, you could still risk exposure from another county. The only way to keep our infection rates low is to continue vaccinating.

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