If you are the parent of a little child, your main priority always is to ensure your child’s health and well-being. This includes taking them to your doctor’s clinic for their 4-month well visits and vaccines.
When babies are born, they can automatically fight against many infections. However, other pathogens are more dangerous, even lethal. Immunizations strengthen a baby’s immune system, allowing it to combat even the most dangerous illnesses.
Vaccines are manufactured from a very little portion of the pathogen. They safeguard a person from catching a disease and being ill because of it. All a baby’s (or even an adult’s) vaccines are not given at the same time. Some vaccines require more than one shot to be effective.
What Is a Vaccination Schedule and How Does It Work?
A vaccination schedule is a plan that specifies which immunizations should be taken and when they should be given to your children. Vaccines are by far one of the most essential strategies to keep children safe from infections that can be fatal. Vaccines train your body to recognize and fight germs by exposing you to them in a controlled environment.
Vaccine recommendations from the government can be called just that: recommendations. You are not obligated to purchase them. With rare exceptions, state regulations require your children to get certain immunizations before they may attend daycare, school, or college. Vaccines protect not only your child but everyone with whom he or she comes into touch. The greater the number of people who are vaccinated, the more difficult it is for a disease to spread.
Vaccines go through years of testing before being licensed for use and put into the schedule to ensure that they perform and are safe. To ensure that no problems arise, the government keeps track of any reports of negative effects.
Depending on where you live, your child’s health, the type of vaccination, and the vaccines available differ accordingly. Some vaccines may be given as part of a combination vaccine to reduce the number of doses a youngster receives. Consult your doctor to determine which immunizations your children require.
- HepB stands for hepatitis B vaccination. The initial dosage should be administered within 12–24 hours of birth, but children who have never been immunized can receive it at any age. It is given to some low-birth-weight infants at one month or when they are discharged from the hospital.
A month to two months
- HepB: One to two months after the first treatment, the second dose should be given.
- DTaP stands for diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis.
- Vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)
- PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccination) is a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
- Rotavirus vaccination (RV)
In four months
- Rotavirus: This is the second dosage in a series of two or three; the first dose is usually given at the age of two months.
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis* (DTaP): This is the second in a five-dose series; the first dosage is usually given at two months.
- H. influenzae type b (Hib): This is the second dosage of a three- or four-dose series; the first dose is usually administered at two months.
- Pneumonia (PCV13): This is the second dose of a four-part series; the first dose is usually administered at two months.
- IPV (inactivated poliovirus): This is the second of four treatments; the first dosage is usually given at two months.
- Hib: Depending on the brand of vaccine used in previous Hib immunizations, a third dosage may be required.
- RV: Depending on the type of vaccine used in previous RV vaccines, a third dosage may be required.
6 months and once a year
- Influenza (Flu) is a contagious respiratory illness that affects people of all ages Every year, children aged 6 months and up should get the flu vaccine:
- Children under the age of 9 who receive the flu vaccine for the first time (or who have only had one dose prior to July 2021) will receive two doses separated by at least a month.
- Those under the age of 9 who have already had at least two doses of flu vaccine (before July 2021) will only require one dose.
- Only one dose is required for children above the age of nine.
- The vaccination is delivered as a needle injection (flu shot) or as a nasal spray. This flu season (2021–2022), both types of vaccines can be used because they appear to work equally effectively. Depending on your child’s age and overall condition, your doctor will advise you on which to use. Only healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 can use the nasal spray. The nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for people with weakened immune systems, certain medical problems (such as asthma), or pregnant women.
Six to Eighteen months
12–15 month period
- MMR stands for measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). MMRV is a combination vaccine that is sometimes given with the varicella vaccine.
- Varicella Virus (chickenpox)
12–23 months of age
- HepA: Hepatitis A vaccine, administered in two doses at least six months apart.
15–18 months of age
9–16 years of age
- Vaccine against dengue fever: Children who have already had dengue fever and live in locations where it is common are given this vaccination in three doses (such as Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
11–12 years of age
- HPV: Human papillomavirus vaccination, which is administered in two doses over a 6- to 12-month period. It can be given to children as young as nine years old. It is administered in three doses over six months to teenagers and young adults (ages 15–26).
- Tdap stands for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. During each pregnancy, a woman is also advised to take this supplement.
- MenACWY is the acronym for meningococcal vaccination. Meningococcal bacteria types A, C, W, and Y are all protected. At the age of 16, a booster dose is recommended.
16–18 years of age
- Vaccine against meningococcal meningitis (MenB). Meningococcal bacteria type B is protected. Depending on the manufacturer, children and teenagers may receive two or three doses of the MenB vaccination. Unlike the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, which is recommended for everyone, the teens, their parents, and the doctor decide whether or not to have the MenB vaccine. It is only suggested as a routine for children aged 10 and up who have certain immune system disorders or during an outbreak.
Other Facts to Consider
- Babies who will travel to a place where hepatitis A is common can receive the HepA vaccine as early as 6 months of age (they will still need routine vaccination after their first birthday). It’s also recommended for older children who have never had it before.
- If they will be traveling internationally, babies as young as 6 months old can receive the MMR vaccine. These children should continue to receive the normal routine doses at 12–15 months and 4–6 years of age, but the second dosage can be given as soon as four weeks following the first if they will be traveling and at risk.
- The flu vaccine is especially crucial for children who are at risk of developing health complications as a result of the virus. Children under the age of five, as well as people with chronic medical disorders such as asthma, heart disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, or HIV, are high-risk categories.
- Pneumococcal vaccinations can be administered to older children (ages 2 and up) with immune system problems such as asplenia or HIV infection, as well as other conditions such as a cochlear implant, chronic heart disease, or chronic lung illness.
- Meningococcal vaccines can be administered to children as early as 8 weeks old who are at risk for a meningococcal infection, such as meningitis (depending on the vaccine brand). This includes youngsters who have immune system problems. Children who live in (or will travel to) countries where meningitis is common or where an outbreak is occurring should also receive the vaccine.
- Adults and children aged 5 and above can get the COVID-19 vaccine, which is safe and effective. Adults and children aged 12 and above should get booster shots. The COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose should be given to everyone who is eligible as soon as possible.
If you still have concerns, discuss them with your baby’s doctor. Before your infant is vaccinated, your doctor will give you enough knowledge about each vaccine that you may read and discuss with him or her.
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