Vaccines have helped to dramatically reduce the incidence of serious diseases such as diphtheria, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, and mumps. However, to receive full protection from a vaccine, children need all doses of the vaccine in the recommended schedule. Missing or falling behind in the recommended schedule can leave your child vulnerable to infection.
At Advanced Pediatrics of Rockland in Pomona, New York, pediatrician Andrew Satran, MD, and our staff provide vaccines as part of a thorough approach to preventive medicine. We work to ensure that your child remains current with all recommended vaccines so they have optimal protection against infection.
In this blog, Dr. Satran discussed the importance of vaccines and the recommended schedule for keeping your child fully immunized.
How vaccines protect your child
Babies and young children need vaccinations because they are vulnerable to life-threatening infectious diseases at a young age. While a newborn receives temporary protection from diseases to which their mother is immune, this immunity usually decreases by 6 months of age.
When your child is immune to a disease, they can be exposed to it without becoming infected. Vaccines help children create their own immunity to viruses and bacteria that cause diseases.
The substances in vaccines stimulate your child’s immune system to produce a reaction as if there were a real infection. Your immune system fights off the infection and remembers the germ, so it’s prepared to fight off the germ if it infects their body.
Vaccines recommended for children
Vaccines are recommended for babies, children, and teenagers. The schedule for vaccines can change as new vaccines are developed.
To achieve full immunity against a specific vaccine, your child must receive all recommended doses. Since the effects of some vaccines can wear off over time, some vaccines require boosters.
The schedule for vaccines is administered based on your child’s age. Attending recommended well visits is the best way to ensure that your child stays current with their vaccines. If your child misses a shot of a specific vaccine, we can modify your child’s schedule to allow them to catch up without having to start over.
The CDC advises the following schedule of vaccines for children:
- Birth (before leaving the hospital): First dose of Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine
- 1-2 months: Second dose of Hepatitis B vaccine
- 2 months: First dose of rotavirus vaccine (RV), haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 (PCV13), inactive polio vaccine (IPV), and diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (DTaP) vaccines
- 4 months: Second dose of RV, Hib, PCV13, IPV, and DTaP vaccines
- 6 months: Third dose of RV, Hib, PCV13, and DTaP vaccines; first dose of annual influenza vaccine with the second dose administered four weeks later for the first time only
- 6-18 months: Third dose of HepB and IPV vaccines
- 12-15 months: First dose of measles, mumps rubella (MMR) and varicella (chickenpox) vaccines; fourth dose of PCV13 and Hib
- 12-24 months: First dose of hepatitis A vaccine (second dose 6 months after the first dose)
- 15-18 months: Fourth dose of DTaP vaccine
- 4-6 years: Second dose of MMR and varicella vaccines, fifth dose of DTaP, and fourth dose of IPV vaccines
- 11-12 years: First dose of meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY), sixth dose of DTaP, and first of 2-shot series of Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- 16-18 years: Serogroup B Meningococcal (MenB) vaccine
Annual flu vaccines are recommended for everyone age 6 months and older. COVID-19 vaccinations are recommended for children age 5 and older, with boosters available for children age 12 and older.
Find out more about the vaccines your child should have based on their age and medical condition. To schedule a visit, request an appointment online or call our office.