Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
June 2019

Diving into the inner-workings of the immune system


  • Dad with baby June 2019 Parents PACK newsletterDo children get too many vaccines?
  • Is a child’s immune system developed enough at birth to get the hepatitis B vaccine?
  • Does my child still need vaccines if I am breastfeeding?
  • How many vaccines can a child handle at one time?
  • Why are multiple doses of some vaccines needed?

At their heart, these questions all hinge on understanding how the immune system works. But, many parents never had much in the way of formal education related to the immune system and how it works. In addition, scientists continue to learn more about the intricate interactions of the immune system that are just as important, and ever-present, as those that control the beating of our hearts and the breaths we take.

News & Notes

Video: The Side Effects of Vaccines

This approximately 11-minute, animated video describes how the immune system works and how vaccines take advantage of that process to protect us from future infections. The video, titled The Side Effects of Vaccines – How High is the Risk?, was produced by Kurzgesagt for their In a Nutshell video series and was funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  

Music video about vaccines

Austin Jordan, a student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently made a video parody of Lil Nas X – Old Town Road, changing the lyrics to relate to getting vaccinated. Called Lil Nas Vax – Vaccine Road, the video features Jordan singing and dancing in support of vaccinations. An interview by Josh Stewart for Citizen Ed stated, “Austin has always believed that music has a very powerful effect on people. He hopes that this video will convince people to get out and get vaccinated and to combat the unfortunate trend of people spreading myths about vaccinations.”

Resource reminder

If you are getting ready for summer travel, don’t forget about the VEC’s informational sheet related to infectious diseases and travel as well as our webpage, “Vaccine Considerations for Specific Groups,” which includes a section for travelers.

Just the Vax Trivia Corner

What virus can live silently in nerves for years after an initial infection, later awakening due to age or a weakened immune system? 

  1. Mumps virus
  2. Rubella virus
  3. Chickenpox (varicella) virus
  4. Measles virus
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