southside pediatric


Pediatrics & Adolescent Health located in Petersburg, VA
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Immunizations services offered in Petersburg, VA

Immunizations can protect your child from serious illness, starting from the time of birth. At Southside Pediatric Center, experienced board-certified pediatrician Mary Catherine Arrieta, MD, CGP, offers the full range of childhood immunizations in the Petersburg, Virginia, office. Dr. Arrieta can administer routine and catch-up immunizations based on your child’s needs, so call the office or schedule your child’s visit online now.

What are immunizations?

Immunizations, also called vaccinations, are shots that can prevent potentially serious or deadly contagious diseases. Immunizations contain small amounts of dead or weakened disease material, which stimulates the body to create antibodies (disease-killing blood proteins) that fight that particular disease.

So, after an immunization, your child is much less likely to experience the disease, and if they do develop it, they’re less likely to become seriously ill. 

Immunizations aren’t just for your child’s safety, either: They prevent the spread of the disease to protect others who can’t get immunizations because of major underlying health problems.

What immunizations will my child need?

Some of the different immunizations that your child should have at some point in their childhood include:

  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP)
  • Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib)
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Varicella (chicken pox)
  • Quadrivalent flu 
  • HPV
  • T-Dap
  • Pneumonia

Your child’s immunizations occur mainly in their first couple of years, but some happen a little later in childhood and into their teen years. For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization is recommended for children at around age 11-12.  

Do immunizations cause autism?

Immunizations don’t cause autism. Extensive research from the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that immunizations are safe and effective, with exceedingly rare complications. 

Dr. Arrieta is happy to explain the benefits of immunizations and how they can help protect rather than harm your child if you have any concerns. 

When should I schedule my child’s immunizations?

Dr. Arrieta recommends a personalized immunization plan for your child starting from their 2-months newborn care visit. Generally, most kids receive immunizations during well-child visits, but they can also have them during sports physicals or even sick visits based on their needs.

If your child has underlying health issues, Dr. Arrieta will work with you to ensure that your child receives the immunizations they need without putting their health at risk. 

Immunizations are practically painless and over in seconds, but your child gets much longer-lasting benefits. If your child needs routine immunizations or needs to catch up, reach out to Southside Pediatric Center by phone or click on the provided online scheduling feature to make their appointment today.