Updated: Oct 13, 2018
Next to sanitation and clean drinking water, vaccines have been called the greatest public health intervention in history. Many diseases that were once prevalent in the U.S. are now at their lowest levels in decades, thanks to vaccines.
Most of us know our kids need childhood immunizations. But we don’t always know which vaccines our children should get and when; here are some examples:
One rotavirus vaccine (RotaTeq), recommended in a three-dose schedule at ages 2, 4, and 6 months. The first dose should be given at ages 6 weeks through 12 weeks with subsequent doses administered at 4- to 10-week intervals.
The influenza vaccine, or flu shot, is now recommended for all children ages 6 months and older.
The varicella (chickenpox) vaccine should be first given at ages 12 to 15 months and a recommended second dose should be given at ages 4 to 6 years.
The human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) is recommended in a three-dose schedule, with the second and third doses administered 2 and 6 months after the first dose. Routine vaccination with HPV is recommended for males and females aged 11 to 12 years of age.
Vaccines are the best way we have to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
Why Do We Need a Childhood Immunization Schedule?
Because of a child's developing immune system, doctors have found that vaccines work best when they are given at certain ages. It is important that you maintain accurate records of your child's vaccinations. Proof of childhood immunization is required for public school and many day care programs.
Childhood Vaccine Precautions
Today, vaccines are regarded as very safe and very important to your child's health. If a child has any moderate or severe illness on the day a vaccine is scheduled, it should probably be delayed until the child feels better.
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