Healthy Starts Here

Childhood immunizations help keep kids safe against serious diseases like measles, mumps, and tetanus.

Keep Your Child Healthy

Are your children up to date with their vaccines? Staying current is one of the very best ways to protect your family. It’s also required by schools and day cares across Northern Virginia. Make sure your children are on track. 

Find a Vaccine

Recommended childhood immunizations are available through your pediatrician, pharmacies, and your local health department.

Is your child due for an immunization?
Take this helpful quiz to find out.

Six Things To Know
About Childhood Immunizations

1. They prevent serious diseases.

Immunizations protect your children against a variety of diseases that can affect their brain, heart, liver, lungs, and more. You can protect your child by staying current with their immunizations.

2. They protect communities.

Recommended childhood immunizations help prevent the spread of disease in your community. They also help eliminate debilitating viruses like polio.

3. They teach your child’s immune system to fight specific diseases.

Children are exposed to germs every day. Sometimes, this can lead to serious illnesses. Vaccines give your child’s body the ability to fight off these dangerous germs if your child is ever exposed.

4. They are safe and effective.

For decades now, childhood vaccinations have proven to be safe and effective. And each year, millions of children in the United States get safely vaccinated. Learn more about the life-saving difference that childhood vaccines have made.

5. They are available through your pediatrician or health department. 

Does your child need updated vaccines ahead of the next school year? Don’t wait. You can get school-required vaccinations through your pediatrician, pharmacy, or local health department. There are no out-of-pocket costs for school-required vaccines.

6. Serious side effects are extremely rare.

The most common reactions are pain, redness, and swelling at the spot where your child got their shot. You can treat their side effects easily with a cool, wet washcloth, lots of liquids, and a non-aspirin pain reliever if they have a fever.

Parents Corner

Take Care of Yourself, So You Can Take Care of Your Family

Remember: Vaccines aren’t just for children. If you’re pregnant, make sure you’re up to date on your Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine. If you’re age 50 or older, make sure you have your shingles vaccine. Learn more about these recommended adult vaccines, and others, by talking with your doctor or pharmacist, or through your local health department.

Asian American mother with her son

COVID-19 Vaccines and Resources

Stay Up to Date With Vaccines

It's important to stay current with your COVID-19 vaccinations. Updated boosters are now available with special protection against new variants. They can help prevent serious illness, protecting you and your loved ones.

Check if it's time for your next booster.

Have questions? Need to talk in another language?
Call the Virginia Department of Health: 


Do I need a COVID-19 booster?


Boosters are an important part of protecting yourself from getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. They are recommended for most people. Learn more about COVID-19 boosters and find out if you need one.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?


Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective across age ranges. These vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines meet rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. Learn more about how hundreds of millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine.

What is "long COVID," and how is it diagnosed?


Some people can experience long-term effects from a COVID-19 infection, which are known as “post-COVID conditions” or “long COVID.” Post-COVID conditions include a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems, and can last weeks, months, or longer. Anyone who was infected can experience post-COVID conditions. People who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 and become infected might be at higher risk of developing post-COVID conditions compared with people who are vaccinated. 

There is no test that determines if your symptoms or condition is due to COVID-19. Post-COVID conditions are not one illness. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of post-COVID conditions based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health examination. Learn more about post-COVID conditions.

If I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine?


Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all pregnant people get the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC analyzed new data from pregnant people who have been vaccinated and found no increased risk of miscarriage or harm to the baby. In fact, reports show that the mRNA vaccines might also help protect breastfeeding babies. Furthermore, pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 and, if they are infected, for their babies to be born prematurely — so getting vaccinated can protect both you and your baby.

If you are pregnant and have questions, talk with your health care provider.

For more information, check out the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination FAQ.