Getting your kids vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do for their health. Immunization gives your babies a way to defend against 14 serious and life-threatening illnesses. As a new parent, you should become informed, and can start by asking your child's pediatrician "What vaccines do babies need to get?" This will help you better understand how getting these shots can protect your children now and in the future.
If you have been on the fence about vaccinating because you have heard about the risks of autism, don't be. CNN reported that the 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield which initiated this fear among parents was discredited and deemed an "elaborate fraud" according to investigation published by the British medical journal BMJ . Several other follow up studies have also shown no link between autism and vaccines.
Some parents take for granted that their children will be safe against preventable diseases because they rarely, if ever, hear about outbreaks these days. However, if a large portion of the population begins refusing vaccines for unwarranted reasons, the United States is at risk of large outbreaks once again. Vaccinations are so essential to the eradication of preventable diseases in this country that several states have already banned personal belief vaccine exemptions for children entering public school according to The Hill.
By allowing your babies to receive the following vaccines recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you will be doing your part to lower the risk of your your children contracting a preventable illness.
1. Hepatitis B (HepB)
According to the CDC, babies are given the first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth, the second dose between one and 2 months of age, and the third dose between 6 and 18 months of age.
2. Rotavirus (RV)
According to Vaccines.gov , there are two types of rotavirus vaccines: the two-dose and the three-dose. The two-dose rotavirus series is administered at 2 and 4 months of age. The three-dose series is administered at 2, 4 and 6 months of age.
3. Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Acellular Pertussis3 (DTaP)
A five-dose series of the DTaP vaccine is administered at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 15 - 18 months and the final is administered at 4 - 6 years of age according to CDC guidelines.
4. Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)
The CDC website recommends the Hib vaccine to be administered at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 12 to 15 months.
5. Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13)
The four-dose series of the PCV13 vaccine is administered at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and at age 12 through 15 months according to the CDC.
6. Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV)
The four-dose series of IPV is to be administered at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 to 18 months, and 4 t0 6 years. According to the CDC, the final dose in the IPV series should be administered "on or after the fourth birthday and at least six months after the previous dose."
7. Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
According to the CDC, the routine administration of the two-dose series of the MMR vaccine is at ages 12 to 15 months and 4 to 6 years if the child is not traveling to a location outside of the U.S. with a high risk of the diseases. The second dose may be administered before age 4 years, as long as at least four weeks have elapsed since the first dose. Children who are traveling must follow a different vaccine schedule, and their doctor should be notified.
8. Varicella (VAR)
The two-dose series of the VAR vaccine is administered at ages 12 to 15 months and 4 to 6 years. The second dose may be administered before age 4 years, as long as at least 3 months have elapsed since the first dose. According to the CDC, if the second dose was administered at least 4 weeks after the first dose, it can be accepted as valid.
9. Hepatitis A (HepA)
The two-dose HepA vaccine series should be initiated at 12 to 23 months. The second dose should be given after six to 18 months.
The CDC recommends that all healthy persons receive the influenza (flu) vaccine on a yearly basis beginning at age 6 months. CNN recently reported that the CDC advisory committee recommended that patients not use the FluMist nasal spray influenza vaccine this upcoming flu season. "To everyone's surprise and increasing consternation, this vaccine has performed quite poorly compared to the injectable vaccine," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist told CNN.