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Childhood Immunizations

At MaineHealth, ensuring that infants, children and teens get vaccines on time is a top priority.
MaineHealth supports this goal by:

  • Working with your doctor's office
  • Making changes in your community
  • Supporting policies that improve immunization rates

What are immunizations?

Immunization (vaccination) is the process of giving a person very small amounts of viruses or bacteria through a vaccine without causing the person to get sick. Vaccines help the immune system know and remember different diseases so that it can stop them from causing illness or death in the future.

Why are immunizations important?

Routine immunizations are one of the most important parts of pediatric care because they are the safest and best way to protect young children and teens from 16 diseases:

In Maine, all children under the age of 19 can be vaccinated at little or no cost to their families under the Universal Childhood Immunization Program. Protecting children from these diseases helps prevent serious illnesses and death, and helps avoid missed days from school or work. Children who are fully vaccinated also support the health of our whole community by protecting other children and adults who are too young or sick to get vaccines.

For questions about immunizations for your child, talk to your child's primary care provider. Don’t have a provider?

In an effort to provide patient-facing education and create understanding about the importance of vaccines, the MaineHealth Child Health team conducted interviews in the summer of 2019 with people in Maine living with post-polio syndrome. Individuals interviewed lived through the polio scare of the 1950s & 60s.

This video tells the story of Ann Crocker, a woman who had polio as a child. In an age where polio seems like a distant memory, thanks to the efficacy of vaccines, it’s important to tell the stories of what did happen and what could easily happen again. A huge thanks goes out to Ann, who was willing to share her experience growing up in Maine, at a time before the polio vaccine was available.

Additional information and resources

Maine Immunization Program

The Maine Immunization Program provides resources for providers (including info on ImmPact), information for the public, program policies, currents news and public service announcements about vaccines, and contact information for MIP staff.

American Academy of Pediatrics

The AAP is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists.  This site provides information about its Childhood Immunization Support Program.

The Vaccine Education Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Provides complete, up-to-date and reliable information about vaccines to parents and healthcare professionals.

Immunization Action Coalition

Organization creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services.

Vaccinate Your Family

Vaccinate Your Family is a program of Every Child by Two.  Every Child by Two was founded by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Former First Lady of Arkansas Betty Bumpers in 1991.  It works to raise awareness of the need for timely immunizations and to foster a way to immunize all of America’s children by age two.

Vaccination Guides

Vaccines for Children: 0-9 months
Vaccines for Children: 12-24 months
Vaccines for Children: 4-6 years old
Vaccines for Children: 11-18 years old

Child Care & Well Child Visit Brochures

Taking Care of Your Baby: 1 Week
Taking Care of Your Baby: 1 Month
Taking Care of Your Baby: 2 Months
Taking Care of Your Baby: 4 Months
Taking Care of Your Baby: 6 Months
Taking Care of Your Baby: 9 Months
Taking Care of Your Baby: 12 Months
Taking Care of Your Child: 15 Months
Taking Care of Your Child: 18 Months
Taking Care of Your Child: 2 Years
Taking Care of Your Child: 2 1/2 Years
Taking Care of Your Child: 3 Years
Taking Care of Your Child: 4 Years

Additional Guidance on HPV

  • HPV Vaccination: Just the Facts from the American Cancer Society provides general HPV vaccine information for parent/caregivers. This two-sided handout can be downloaded here.
  • HPV Vaccine is Safe (Gardasil) from the US CDC provides information on HPV vaccine safety. This two-sided handout may be beneficial for anyone who has questions about the HPV vaccine. This handout can be downloaded here.
  • Vaccines for Preteens: What Parents Should Know from the US CDC is a handout that describes all three pre-teen vaccines, including HPV. This one page handout can be downloaded here.

Vaccines and Your Baby

Dr. Gabriel Civiello, a pediatrician at Franklin Health Pediatrics, reviews what parents can expect at their infant’s two-month well-child visit.