Vaccinations are an important part of keeping your baby healthy and contributing to the health of the general population. Most children should have all recommended vaccinations on a certain schedule. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a vaccine recommendation table that can help you know what to expect.
Your baby will likely receive his or her first vaccination while still in the hospital. Of the 11 vaccines recommended during the first 15 months, only the Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine is recommended at birth. The hospital staff may provide the vaccine to your baby in the hospital, but if that doesn’t occur, your baby’s doctor will offer the vaccine at your first well visit. Follow up vaccines will be given between 1 and 2 months and again between 6 and 15 months.
The CDC also recommends the following vaccines:
- Rotavirus (RV)
- Diphtheria, tetanus & acellular pertussis (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
- Pneumococcal conjugate
- Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
- Influenza (given annually, especially important for children at high risk for complications of influenza)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (VAR)
- Hepatitis A (Hep A)
To learn more about the vaccine recommendations and what each vaccine does, check out the CDC’s website.
ARE VACCINES SAFE?
In recent years there has been a lot of misinformation about vaccine safety. Although there are a few children who shouldn’t get vaccinations or should follow a delayed vaccination schedule, most children should be vaccinated on schedule. It is important for their health and to protect other people in the community.
Since people began to fear vaccines, some parents have stopped vaccinating their children against serious and deadly diseases. Because the numbers of unvaccinated children are rising, many diseases that were nearly eradicated have started to circulate again. Whooping cough (pertussis), measles, German measles (Rubella), mumps, polio, and other diseases are making many people sick and are killing or permanently disabling more and more children every year.
If you have concerns about vaccinating your child, talk with his or her pediatrician.