Your Baby’s Immunizations

In recent years there has been a lot of controversy surrounding vaccines. However, at this time immunizations are the best method we have of protecting our children from potentially fatal childhood illnesses, many of which are no longer seen in the United States thanks to immunization programs. A recommended immunization schedule has been created to make sure your child gets the vaccinations they need at the appropriate times. Some vaccines have been combined into one shot so that your child needs fewer sticks with a needle.

The Standard Schedule of Immunizations

The CDC has a recommended schedule of vaccinations, which should be followed to maximize your child’s protection. If you are interested in an alternate schedule, discuss it with your child’s doctor to be sure you have all the information to weigh the pros and cons. The standard schedule for the first two years is as follows:

At Birth

Before your baby leaves the hospital, the first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine will likely be administered. If it is not given in the hospital, your baby’s doctor will administer it at the first check up.

At 1-2 Months Old

If your baby had the first Hepatitis B vaccine at birth, the second one may be given at one month old, or your doctor may wait until two months old. At two months, your baby will also receive the following vaccines:

  • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis, otherwise known as whooping cough)
  • Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • Polio, or IPV
  • RV (rotavirus)
  • PCV (pneumococcal disease)

At 4 Months Old

Your baby will receive another round of shots similar to the ones given at the 2 month visit. Many vaccines require two or more shots to be completely effective, so don’t be surprised if you see the same ones repeatedly. At four months your baby will once again receive:

  • DTaP
  • Hib
  • Polio, or IPV
  • RV
  • PCV

At 6 Months Old

At your baby’s 6 month visit, your baby will receive another round of the same vaccines you have seen before. In addition to these shots, you may be offered an influenza vaccine depending on the season during which baby’s 6 month visit is scheduled. At this visit, your baby will receive shots for:

  • DTaP
  • Hib
  • PCV

Also optional at this visit is the next round of Hepatitis B and Polio vaccines, which should be given between 6 and 18 months of age.

At 12 to 15 Months Old

At the 12 month visit, you will see some new vaccines as well as more of the ones your child has received previously. All of these vaccines can be given between 12 and 15 months old, so you can choose to do them all at once, or split them up. Again, influenza will be offered seasonally. The 12 to 15 month shots are:

  • PCV
  • Hib
  • Varicella (chicken pox)
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • Hepatitis A

At 15 to 18 Months Old

At the 15 month check up, your child will receive any vaccines you chose to put off from the 12 month visit. Baby will also be due for one more DTaP shot between 15-18 months. As with previous visits, influenza may be an option depending on the season.

Your doctor will help to make sure all of baby’s vaccinations are on schedule, and answer any questions you might have about the immunizations.

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