Diapers, baby clothes, the crib. All of these are essentials on every expectant parent's checklist.
What might be forgotten in the anticipation of a newborn is one of the most important items: vaccines
for the parents, grandparents, and anyone else in the family who plans to spend time with the new
bundle of joy.
Parents often have questions about vaccinations and immunizations for their infants and children. Some are concerned about the frequency of vaccinations or the number of standard vaccines in the current schedule, but there are important reasons physicians recommend vaccines at certain ages.
Why are vaccines important?
Vaccines are important because they help protect us and those around us from preventable diseases like tetanus, HPV, polio, measles, meningitis and whooping cough. How? By helping our bodies create immunity - which is the body's way of preventing disease.
Why are vaccinations important for children?
At Dr. G's Pediatrics we believe childhood vaccinations are so important because young immune systems
are more vulnerable to diseases and illnesses. If your child is exposed to a disease like measles for
example, their immune system may not be strong enough to fight it off. And now that travel is easier and
more common than ever, there's an increased risk of exposure to diseases that are more prevalent
outside of the United States.
Vaccines are made with disease antigens, which trigger your child's immune system to produce antibodies and develop immunity - without getting sick.
RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS FOR INFANTS AND CHILDREN
Infants (minimum recommended age for beginning each vaccination)
Hepatitis B - birth
Rotavirus - 6 weeks
Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis - 6 weeks
Haemophilus influenza type b - 6 weeks
Pneumococcal - 6 weeks
Inactivated poliovirus - 6 weeks
Measles, mumps and rubella - 12 months
Varicella - 12 months
Hepatitis A - 12 months
Meningococcal combination vaccine - 6 weeks
Children age 7 through 18 years
Tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis - 7 years
Human papillomavirus - 9 years
Meningococcal vaccines (two complementary vaccines are available
that protect against different types of meningococci)
Meningococcus serotype B vaccine - 10 years
Meningococcal combination vaccine (serotype A, C, Y, W135)
Why it's important to follow childhood immunization schedules Staying on schedule protects your child
Backed by scientific research, the timing and spacing of immunizations are set to work with a child's immune system
at specific ages and times. Vaccines not only prevent disease, they save lives.
While some parents wonder if the number of vaccines and doses kids receive can ever be too much for their bodies to handle, the short answer is: No. Extensive research has been done to ensure the safety of vaccines for young immune systems. Kids are exposed to germs (or antigens) every day. The amount that they're exposed to by getting a vaccine is just a tiny fraction of the antigens they encounter daily.