These days there’s almost too much information available for expecting parents. Bloggers and influencers dole out guidance on baby products, nursery setup, and everything in between.
But when it comes to the really important stuff like your baby’s health and well-being, it’s best to get your advice straight from the experts.
Here, our team of experienced pediatricians at Academy Park Pediatrics in Lakewood and Highlands Ranch, Colorado, takes a closer look at five of the most important pediatric vaccines — your child’s first line of defense against serious illnesses.
Starting shortly after birth, your child receives a series of vaccines for a variety of diseases. We follow a vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has been carefully calibrated to offer your child maximum protection as early as possible.
In addition to being vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B and getting a pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccine, you should know about five other vaccines that prevent some of the most dangerous and most contagious illnesses.
Thanks to the vaccine, polio has been all but eradicated in the United States. Your child needs four doses of inactivated poliovirus to be fully vaccinated. They get their first dose at their two-month well-child visit and their last dose when they reach 4-6 years of age.
If you were born a few decades ago, your parent’s defense against chickenpox was likely to have you catch it from the neighbor kid. But now there’s a better way to prevent ever having chickenpox and its many complications.
Serious side effects of chickenpox can include flesh-eating strep, staph toxic shock, and encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain). To be fully vaccinated, your child needs two doses of the chickenpox vaccine; the first dose is given at 12-15 months, and the second at 4-6 years.
This combination vaccine protects your child against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), as well as pertussis (whooping cough). The five-dose series starts at the two-month well-child visit and finishes at 4-6 years of age. We recommend that your child receive regular boosters for tetanus every 5-10 years.
Measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles) are all highly contagious and potentially very serious diseases. But fortunately, you can defend your child against them with a combination vaccine. They need two doses of the MMR vaccine. Like the other common vaccines, the first dose is given at 12-15 months and the second between the ages of 4-6 years.
Every year around October, another flu season begins, which means your child needs their influenza vaccine. This vaccine changes every year as scientists strive to predict how the flu virus has mutated from the year before. Though the flu vaccine can’t guarantee your child won’t get the flu, it can lower their risk of a potentially deadly flu infection.
Still have questions about pediatric vaccines? We’re here to answer them. Call or click to schedule an appointment at our office most convenient to you.