Many physicians and parents consider immunizations routine; as a result, they fail to discuss this important aspect of health care. Parents should be educated about each vaccine and the role it plays in the well-being of their child. To ensure that parents will be able to give informed consent to have their child immunized, the physician should provide information on the nature, prevalence, and risks of the disease; the type of imminization product to be used; expected benefits; risk of side effects; and required follow-up. In addition, the concept of individual immunity as a contribution to community well-being should be discussed. Parents should be apprised of the importance of maintaining accurate immunization records. Verbal communication of this information at the time of vaccination can be reinforced by written documents. One way to verify that parents have understood the information is for the physician to question them at the next office visit.

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