There are many childhood vaccines or immunizations that are important for your child to get, and learning about them may feel overwhelming as a new parent. Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend vaccine schedules that cover around 14 different diseases. Vaccinations don’t just protect your child from deadly diseases, but also prevent or significantly decrease the transmission of dangerous diseases from spreading to other children that used to claim many lives.
What Is A Vaccine?
A vaccine is a weakened or dead version of the germ that causes the disease in question. When the vaccine form of a disease is administered to a child, their immune system (how the body fights germs) can build up antibodies that prevent them from contracting the disease if and when they’re exposed to the actual disease. While there has been some controversy regarding the safety of vaccines, none of it has any hard evidence behind it. There has been no scientifically convincing evidence of harm associated with vaccines. Children may have a reaction to any vaccine, but it is far more likely if they don’t get vaccinated that more severe consequences may follow. Essentially, you are risking your child’s safety by much more if you don’t vaccinate them properly.
Your Child’s Immunization Schedule
The majority of your child’s vaccinations should be completed between the time they are born and when they turn six years old. This means that you’ll have to carefully keep track of your child’s shots. While the people who work at your doctor’s office should also keep track of your child’s vaccinations, you may end up changing doctors, or records may get lost. Remember that the person who is responsible for keeping track of your child’s immunizations- and your child’s health- is you. Get an immunization record form from your child’s pediatrician. Treat the record of your child’s vaccinations like you would a birth certificate and keep it with your other essential documents. The CDC website also offers an easy-to-read immunization schedule and record form you can download.
Although most parents and doctors keep kids up on their immunizations, around a quarter of preschool children are missing at least one routine vaccination. Most states won’t let your child go to school without a comprehensive immunization record. If a child misses an immunization, most previous immunizations are still good; your doctor simply resumes the immunization schedule. Accidentally doubling up on a vaccine typically isn’t a concern, although keep in mind that your child will still require future doses according to the recommended schedule.
Standard Immunization Schedule
Here is a common immunization schedule the CDC recommends all children complete by age 2:
- Four vaccinations for Haemophilus influenzae (Hib)
- One vaccination for mumps, measles, and rubella
- Three to four polio vaccinations (IPV)
- Three vaccinations for hepatitis B
- Four vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (DPT)
- One vaccination for varicella (chickenpox) if your child doesn’t develop the disease on their own, and no earlier than 12 months of age
- Four vaccinations for pneumococcal disease
- Three vaccinations for rotavirus, a kind of infection that results in severe diarrhea
From age 4 to 6, your child will require booster shots for IPV, DPT, MMR, and chickenpox. The hepatitis A vaccine and yearly flu shots are also recommended.
Contact Us Today
Childhood vaccinations are an essential part of keeping your child safe and preventing the transmission of deadly diseases. Call Sunlife Pediatric Network to schedule an appointment for your child with a pediatrician today.