Ever since Edward Jenner introduced the smallpox vaccine, vaccinations have become invaluable to saving children’s lives. Immunizations became mainstream in the United States in the last hundred years in an attempt to lower infant and child mortality rates, which were very high, due to certain diseases like diphtheria and the measles.
Today, pediatricians immunize their patients as a preventative practice. There is an important reason for immunization schedules–to give children a healthy foundation for their immune systems and to allow their bodies and immune systems to get stronger a little at a time. In this post we will go over that important immunization schedule for your child from the time he or she is born up to age 2.
- When a child is born, they must be vaccinated for Hepatitis B, which can infect the livers of infants and young children and cause long-term damage to their livers and bodies.
- At 2 weeks old, a newborn screening is done; this is a blood panel that checks for dysfunctions in the metabolic, endocrine, and circulatory systems, as well as other areas of the body (to learn more about newborn screenings you can read this brochure: http://health.utah.gov/newbornscreening/PDF/FamilyBrochure_En.pdf).
- At 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months, your child should be vaccinated for the following: Dtap: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough); Hib: meningitis, epiglottitis, and
pneumonia, IPV or polio; Prevnar 13 (caused by streptococcus); Hepatitis B; and Rotateq: rotavirus.
- When your child reaches the age of 9 months, they will need a well-child check up, which involves getting caught up on any missing immunizations. A well-child check up should also include developmental observations, a physical exam, recommended screenings, and guidance for what your child’s health should look like.
- At 12 months, your child should be vaccinated for Dtap, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and Hepatitis A.
- When your child is 15 months old, they should be vaccinated for Prevnar 13, Hib, and Varivax (or varicella), which is meant to prevent chicken pox.
- And at 18 months, your child can be immunized for Hepatitis A, as well as catch up on any other shots that they may have missed.
Many vaccines, such as Hepatitis A and B, must be administered in several doses. It is important to keep a checklist of what vaccines your child has received and what they are still in need of. Your pediatrician will be glad to help you stay on track with your child’s immunization schedule, and at Provo Pediatrics, we will be more than happy to help you keep your child’s immunizations up to date and keep track of which immunizations your child has received. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about immunizations and if you are in need of a pediatrician for your child![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]