Getting a Shot: Vaccine & Immunizations Update

By Elizabeth Seward

Humans have managed to utilize science to outsmart illnesses that used to wipe out entire populations at a time. We've done this through medical advances, most particularly, through vaccines and immunizations. A sick baby is the last thing you need, so be sure to keep your little one immunized with the latest vaccines in accordance with the latest credible research available.

All vaccinations are important, but you should specifically note that some of the illnesses prevented by modern vaccines are on the rise again among certain sectors of the population that have refused vaccinations. In the U.S., we have experienced recent spikes in cases of measles, with the largest outbreaks in New York, Texas, and North Carolina. Reports of the mumps are also on the rise, with the highest numbers in the Midwest. Pertussis (whooping cough) is also on the rise again, with recent outbreaks occurring most notably in California. In nearly all of these cases, the affected patients had not received a vaccine for the illness.

Recent Research on Vaccines

A February 2014 Danish study found that children who received the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella 9) vaccine at the appropriate ages had a lower incidence of infection-related hospital admissions.

A March 2014 Australian study found a significant link between receipt of the HPV vaccine and a lower rate of cervical abnormalities.

In order to keep your child as healthy as possible, follow the vaccination schedule provided by the Centers for Disease Control, which is based on current research. Many of these vaccinations are normally lumped together in groups of two or three, to be administered at one doctor visit. If you are concerned about potential side effects from doing too many vaccines at once, you can talk with your doctor about administering them separately. You can go to the CDC website (www.cdc.gov) and others to learn about an alternate vaccination schedule in order to provide your child with more time between vaccinations.

If you plan to travel with your child, discuss your travel plans with your doctor so that you can possibly accelerate your vaccination schedule or receive shots specific to your destination. Once your child is vaccinated, be sure to keep an eye on how long each vaccination lasts - some will need to be updated down the road.

General Schedule of Vaccines for Birth through 12 Years

Birth

Hepatitis B1 - 1st dose

1 Month

Hepatitis B2 - 2nd dose (between 1 month and 2 months)

2 Months

Rotavirus 2 - 1st dose

Diphtheria - 1st dose

Tetanus - 1st dose

Acellular Pertussis 3 - 1st dose

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B5 - 1st dose

Pneumococcal Conjugate 6 - 1st dose

Inactivated Poliovirus 7 - 1st dose

4 Months

Rotavirus 2 - 2nd dose

Diphtheria - 2nd dose

Tetanus - 2nd dose

Acellular Pertussis 3 - 2nd dose

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B5 - 2nd dose

Pneumococcal Conjugate 6 - 2nd dose

Inactivated Poliovirus 7 - 2nd dose

6 Months

Hepatitis B1 - 3rd dose (between 6 months and 15 months)

Diphtheria - 3rd dose

Tetanus - 3rd dose

Acellular Pertussis 3 - 3rd dose

Pneumococcal Conjugate 6 - 3rd dose

Inactivated Poliovirus 7 - 3rd dose (between 6 months and 18 months)

Annual Influenza Vaccination, Influenza 8 (between 6 months and 15 months and to be continued once a year)

12 Months

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B5 - 3rd or 4th dose (between 12 months and 18 months)

Pneumococcal Conjugate 6 - 4th dose (between 12 months and 15 months)

Measles - 1st dose (between 12 months and 15 months)

Mumps - 1st dose (between 12 months and 15 months)

Rubella 9 - 1st dose (between 12 months and 15 months)

Varicella 10 - 1st dose (between 12 months and 15 months)

Hepatitis A 11 - 2nd dose (between 12 months and 23 months)

15 Months

Diphtheria - 4th dose (between 15 months and 18 months)

Tetanus - 4th dose (between 15 months and 18 months)

Acellular Pertussis 3 - 4th dose (between 15 months and 18 months)

4-6 Years

Diphtheria - 5th dose

Tetanus - 5th dose

Acellular Pertussis 3 - 5th dose

Inactivated Poliovirus 7 - 4th dose

Measles - 2nd dose

Mumps - 2nd dose

Rubella 9 - 2nd dose

Varicella 10 - 2nd dose

11-12 Years

TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis 4)

HPV (1st dose of 3-dose series)

Meningococcal 13 - 1st dose

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