Doctor’s office, clinic, or
hospital. Pediatricians and
family doctors or their nurses
or medical assistants can give
your children the shots they
need to keep them healthy and
meet the requirements for school
enrollment. Hospitals may give
babies some shots at birth and
can also give tetanus shots to
kids and adults at the emergency
room if necessary.
Pharmacies. Some large chain
pharmacies offer immunizations
for older children and adults
(but not for infants).
If your child doesn’t have a
regular doctor, you can go to a
community clinic or contact your
local health department to learn
about where to go for shots.
By law, California managed care
organizations (such as Kaiser
Permanente and Blue Cross) must
cover recommended immunizations for
children. Your health plan may
charge a copayment for the shot
visit. Check with your health plan
or your doctor’s office to ask about
If you don’t have health insurance,
you may be able to get free
immunizations through one of these
Children enrolled in
California’s Healthy Families
plan receive free immunizations
with no copayment.
Medi-Cal covers preventive care
services for eligible low-income
children and adults. Contact
Social Services Services Office
for more information.
Vaccines for Children. Many
doctors participate in the
Children (VFC) program,
which gives free vaccine to
eligible children up to age 18.
Ask your child’s doctor if they
offer VFC shots.
Children eligible for
California’s Child Health and
Disability Prevention (CHDP)
program may also be eligible for
free or low-cost shots.
Comfort Measures for Infants: Be there for your child during shots.
• Bring your child’s immunization record.
• Read vaccine information statements.
• Ask any questions.
• Bring along a favorite toy or blanket.
• Stay calm; your baby picks up your feelings.
During shots, distract and comfort by:
• Touching soothingly and talking softly.
• Making eye contact as you smile at your baby.
After shots, comfort by:
• Holding, cuddling, caressing, or breastfeeding.
• Talking lovingly and soothingly.
• Asking your doctor for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever when you get home.
• Mark your calendar for your next appointment.
• Review vaccine information statements for possible reactions.
• A cool wet cloth can reduce redness, soreness, and/or swelling where the shot was given.
• Observe your child for the next few days. You might see a small rash or notice a fever. If your child has any reaction that concerns you, call your doctor or seek medical attention.
• To reduce pain or fever, your doctor may recommend you give your child a non-aspirin pain reliever.
• Also try giving your child a sponge bath with lukewarm water to reduce fever.
• Give your child plenty of fluids. It is normal if he/she eats less than usual for the next 24 hours.