Vaccination is used as a preventive measure to protect against communicable diseases. The effect of the vaccination is based on immunization against a specific pathogen. For this purpose, the responsible pathogens are injected into the body during a vaccination, so that it reacts to it and produces antibodies against the respective pathogen. Sometimes this can cause flu-like symptoms after a vaccination, which is a normal reaction of the body to the vaccination.

If the body comes into contact with the respective pathogen again, it is fought more efficiently by the antibodies formed. This will make the Disease avoided or occurs only in a weakened form.
The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) of the Robert Koch Institute recommends which vaccinations, at what point in time and at what age, are useful in order to protect against infectious diseases. These recommendations are updated at regular intervals.
In principle, you can choose between two types of vaccination (Inactivated versus live vaccinations) differ.

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Aged 6 weeks can the first vaccination against rotaviruses. The first combination vaccination (six-fold vaccine) against polio, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, Haemophilus influenza b and hepatitis B is recommended at 8 weeks of age. From the age of 11 months, the basic immunization against mumps, measles and rubella is carried out as a triple vaccination (MMR) or in combination with the vaccination against chickenpox as a quadruple vaccination (MMRW). It is also recommended to have the child vaccinated against pneumococci at the age of 2 months and to have a vaccination against meningococcal C from the 12th month of life.

Since it is in Germany no compulsory vaccination parents are free to decide which vaccinations the child should receive. The above vaccinations are the main vaccinations for babies and toddlers which should definitely be done around avoid serious and life-threatening complications. Care should also be taken that Follow-up and booster vaccinations against the above diseases are observed. The Robert Koch Institute offers information about vaccinations, a vaccination calendar and recommendations for the respective vaccinations. In addition, the pediatrician is always available for advice.

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For more information on vaccinations in infancy, please visit: Vaccinations in the baby


A clear advantage of vaccination is that babies and toddlers can build up immunity without contracting the disease. The known childhood diseases such as measles, rubella and chickenpox could be dangerous for the children. For children with a chronic disease or a weakened immune system, these can even be fatal. The side effects and risks of vaccination against these diseases are very low. Nowadays the vaccines are generally very well tolerated.

Vaccination not only brings benefits for oneself, but also for the community or for people who cannot be vaccinated. These include, for example, babies who are still too young or people who suffer from a chronic disease. These groups of people are dependent on the vaccination protection of the people around them. This is called herd immunity. If enough people in the local area are vaccinated against a certain disease, the risk of this disease occurs with very little risk or none at all. Thus, people who cannot be vaccinated are indirectly protected from the disease.

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It is important that as many people as possible are vaccinated to prevent certain infectious diseases from spreading to the population. Vaccinations have eradicated infectious diseases in many parts of the world, but they still exist in many parts of the world. These diseases can be brought into the country by travelers. Unvaccinated children and adults can then become infected with the disease.

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A vaccination is the most effective and safest protection against the aforementioned childhood diseases, but also against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and polio. The side effects or the risk of vaccine damage are extremely low compared to the sometimes life-threatening consequences of these infectious diseases.

Read more on the topic: Air travel with babies and toddlers


Occasionally there may be vaccination reactions in the form of redness and swelling at the injection site. Sometimes there is also a fever. This body reaction to the vaccination is a normal process of the immune system and usually goes away within a few days. In very rare cases, severe reactions such as seizures or an allergic shock can occur.
Vaccination damage usually only occurs years after vaccination and can lead to chronic illnesses or permanent damage. These include diseases of the nerves, corneal inflammation, rheumatism and multiple sclerosis. However, these vaccination complications have mostly occurred in the past using vaccines that are no longer used today. This affected, among other things, the vaccinations against smallpox and tuberculosis.

Read more on the topic: Vaccination side effects

Vaccination review - truth or madness?

Numerous organizations deal with the topic of "vaccination in childhood", with the public / government organizations such as the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO), the federal and state health ministries or the medical organizations such as state medical associations. These express themselves consistently positive to the recommended vaccinations.

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On the other hand, when doing research on the Internet, you also come across some Vaccination critical organizations the A very negative picture of vaccination and therefore advise against carrying out the vaccinations recommended by the STIKO. What is to be made of their arguments?

  • For example, vaccination as prophylaxis is called fraud because the There would be no connection between microbes and the allegedly triggered disease. For example, it is argued that Robert Koch's experiments on tuberculosis were fake
    • First of all, it should be pointed out that Robert Koch transferred the tuberculosis pathogens to guinea pigs as early as 1881 by means of a tissue transplant. As a result, these suffered from the form of tuberculosis, which is already known and described in humans.
    • Another example of the connection between the presence of a pathogen and the triggering of a disease is in the context of gastric inflammation (gastritis). Their occurrence was caused in experiments in the 1980s by the application of Helicobacter pylori and cured by a special antibiotic therapy.
  • The "disease-causing viruses" such as the smallpox, polio, hepatitis, measles, mumps or rubella viruses could so far not seen or proven their existence. One can therefore assume that these were merely invented to conceal vaccination and medication damage.
    • In the context of laboratory medical analyzes, it is no longer a problem to make viruses visible with the help of electron microscopy and consequently to prove their existence. This technology made it possible to analyze the typical characteristics of viruses more precisely.
  • It is repeatedly criticized that Admission Studies for new vaccines Not as so-called randomized double-blind studies be performed; this would mean that an experimental group would be compared with a control group of non-vaccinated people.
    • This is viewed as unethical as it exposes the unvaccinated person to an unnecessary risk of infection with a potentially dangerous disease and deprives them of a potentially protective substance. This is not acceptable due to Western values ​​and moral standards.
    • However, this form of study was used as an exception in the context of testing a vaccine against Ebola developed in Canada in 2015. The researchers compared the infection rate of the vaccinated people with groups of participants who had received another Ebola vaccine or a placebo. The rate of new cases was significantly lower in the test group.

Dead vaccine

Some of the recommended vaccinations are given by giving dead vaccines. This name is based on the vaccine killed pathogens or just Parts of the pathogen contains.
It is advantageous over live vaccines that after vaccination with a dead vaccine fewer side effects occur. Inactivated vaccines protect by one active immunization of the body is just as effective against disease as a live vaccine.
On the other hand, it is disadvantageous that the vaccination protection by a dead vaccine does not last as long. Therefore must vaccinated more often to maintain protection against the disease.

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By a Vaccination against Tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, flu, pneumococcal and meningococcal infections the disease can be prevented. The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommends vaccinations for babies against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenza type B, polio, hepatitis B as a 6-fold vaccination and pneumococci from the 2nd month of life. Vaccination against meningococcal infection is recommended from 12 months of age.

Live vaccination

The other type of vaccine is the live vaccine. These are called live vaccines because they contain small amounts of the reproductive pathogen. However, the pathogens are greatly weakened so that they do not trigger the disease in the vaccinated person. After vaccination, there can rarely be side effects that vary in severity. Mild symptoms such as a rash, a slight fever, or swelling of the joints may occur in the days after the vaccination.
The advantage of live vaccines is that they usually provide lifelong protection against the respective disease. In contrast to the dead vaccines, vaccinations for babies / toddlers are sufficient for lifelong immunity.

Vaccinations relevant for young children include vaccinations against mumps, measles, rubella, chickenpox and rotaviruses. According to the recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO), the first vaccination against mumps, measles and rubella should be given as a combination vaccine at the age of 11-14 months (for example in combination with the U6).
It is also important to have the child vaccinated against mumps, measles and rubella a second time at the age of 15-23 months in order to build up a safe, lifelong vaccination against these diseases.

Read more on the topic: Live vaccination

Side effects of vaccination

After vaccinations, it can occasionally Side effects come. In rarer cases, these are directly due to the vaccine. In general, the vaccines available well tolerated are and no long-term damage cause. The common side effects are the result of the needle sticking into the skin or muscle. It can then close at the puncture site Redness, swelling, warmth, or pain come. Sometimes also kick flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, or malaise. Usually these symptoms go away within few days.

Generally are Side effects after vaccination with a Live vaccine more oftenbecause the body reacts more intensely to the weakened pathogens in the vaccine. As a result, longer-term immunity to the disease can build up.

To a vaccination against measles For example, with the combination vaccine against mumps, measles and rubella, the so-called Vaccine fibers come. Vaccine measles is a measles-like rash that is sometimes associated with a fever. They can appear about 10 days after a measles vaccination.

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For more information, see: Side effects from vaccinations in the baby

Fever after vaccination

The occurrence of fever as a side effect of vaccination in infancy is particularly common.

One of the common side effects is a high body temperature or fever. The fever occurs mostly a few hours after vaccination on and disappears within less days. The fever is a natural reaction of the body to the vaccine and is perfectly normal. The pathogens contained in the vaccination activate the body's immune system. This creates antibodies that protect the body from contracting a certain disease.

Should the fever for several days stop that temperature despite fever-lowering measures not reduce or that behavior the baby's noticeable change should be a doctor to be visited.

If the baby develops a fever or an increased body temperature after a vaccination, care should be taken to ensure that they are hydrated. The administration of paracetamol or Nurofen as a suppository or juice is suitable as a fever-lowering measure. Another tried and tested home remedy for fever are calf compresses.

Further information can be found at: Fever in baby after vaccination and Fever suppositories (for babies and toddlers)

Should I get my baby vaccinated against meningococcal B?

Meningococci are bacteria that can cause various serious diseases. Meningococcal infection can lead to meningitis (meningitis) or blood poisoning (sepsis) to lead. It only takes a few days from contracting meningococci to onset of the disease. In the event of illness, the sick person must be treated in the hospital with antibiotics. The courses are usually very serious and complications often arise. Other people who have had contact with the sick person must also receive preventive medication.

There are different subgroups of meningococci. The meningococcal serotypes A, B, C, W135 and Y most commonly cause the diseases mentioned above, the bacteria being the Groups B and C mainly in Europe are to be found. The diseases caused by group B meningococci are usually milder. The vaccination against meningococcal B is used in Germany not recommended by default, this is regularly checked by the permanent vaccination commission, as these cause proportionally more diseases. This vaccination has so far been recommended for people who have a congenital or acquired immune deficiency.

A Vaccination against meningococci C. will however from the age of 12 months recommended.

Should I have my baby vaccinated against TBE infection?

There are two diseases caused by one Tick ​​bite can be transferred. To one, this is the disease Lyme disease and on the other hand the Early summer meningoencephalitis, abbreviated TBE.

People can only protect themselves against infection with the TBE pathogens with a vaccination. At TBE it is a disease that leads to a Inflammation of the brain, meninges or spinal cord can lead. This inflammation is triggered by viruses that are transmitted to humans by a tick bite. If a tick is infected with TBE, it can About one to two weeks after the tick bite, symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting or dizziness come. The disease usually heals after a few days. In rare cases, the inflammation of the brain, meninges or spinal cord can lead to movement disorders, paralysis or impaired consciousness.
In principle, can Children from the first year of life receive a vaccination against TBE.In general, people who spend a lot of time outdoors in the months from April to November are particularly at risk. Since children often play outdoors, the risk of being stung by a tick is relatively high. Therefore, after playing in nature, the child and clothing should be checked thoroughly for ticks and, if necessary, removed quickly. It should be discussed with the doctor how high the risk of infection is for the child and therefore how useful the vaccination is.

Should I get my baby vaccinated against rotavirus?

Vaccination is recommended from the age of six weeks as a prophylaxis against serious rotavirus infections.

Vaccination against infection with rotaviruses is a useful vaccination for infants and young children and is recommended by the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO). Especially babies and toddlers up to the 2nd year of life get sick of rotaviruses. When infected with the rotavirus, it becomes violent within 2 days watery diarrhea and vomiting. This can make it strong Loss of fluid and salt come. This is a dangerous complication and is particularly quick to develop in babies and young children Dehydration. This leads to the fact that many children have to be treated in hospital because of the severe course of the illness. This can be avoided very well with a vaccination against rotaviruses.

The vaccination is one Live vaccine the as Oral vaccination is administered. The vaccine is very well tolerated by the babies. The vaccination can also be given at the same time as other vaccinations. It is recommended to start the oral vaccination up to the age of 12 weeks, usually together with the U3 at around 6 weeks of age. In order to obtain complete vaccination protection, depending on the vaccine used, a second and a third oral vaccination must be administered every 4 weeks.

Should I have my baby vaccinated against the flu?

The "real" flu, Influenza called, about two million people fall ill in Germany every year. Influenza is an infectious disease that is transmitted by influenza virus A or B.
The Signs of illness are very variable, but mostly the flu starts very suddenly and the feeling of illness can be very pronounced. Furthermore, high fever, chills, cough, runny nose, severe headache and body aches can develop. Especially people who have a weakened immune system are at risk of further complications such as pneumonia and otitis media. In very rare cases this can also lead to meningitis.
For this reason, the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommends that people in certain risk groups get vaccinated against the flu every year. A Flu vaccination for babies is given from 6 months of age recommended if this is on a Basic ailments are sick. These include chronic metabolic, heart or circulatory diseases. Healthy babies and toddlers do not necessarily have to get a flu shot. The pediatrician will point this out in individual cases. For children and young people from 2-17 years there is a special vaccine. It is one Live vaccine the as Nasal spray can be given. Babies under two years of age receive the Dead vaccine, which adults also receive, as half a dose.

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