Getting your child immunized is one of the best ways you can protect their health. Immunizations, or vaccines, contain small amounts of a killed or weakened version of the germ that causes specific diseases. The vaccinations build up your child’s defensive immune system so they can fight off infections they encounter as they get older. Some of these infections can cause serious illness or disfigurement, and can even be life-threatening.=
Vaccinations start soon after your baby is born and continue on a specific schedule until your child reaches late adolescence. Dr. Margaret Lubega is available to answer all your questions about vaccinating your child at her practice in Gastonia, North Carolina – First Pediatric Care Center.
Dr. Lubega compassionately educates you about why vaccines are recommended, what each one protects against, and why they’re safe for your child. Many schools, organized sports, and daycares require your child be up to date on their vaccinations.
The specific vaccination your child needs depends on their age. Here’s information to help you get a better idea of your child’s vaccination schedule.
When your baby is born, they have protection against some diseases because of maternal antibodies passed along before birth. Breastfed babies get additional antibodies in breast milk.
These protections are temporary however. The first vaccines are best given in infancy, when your baby’s immune system is still developing.
These include the following vaccines at 1-2 months:
- Hepatitis B
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
At 4 and 6 months of age, your child gets another dose of DTaP, polio, pneumococcal, rotavirus, and Hib. Children from 7-11 months old don’t typically require any vaccines, but if they’ve missed any, this is a good time to catch up.
At six months of age, your child can start getting a flu vaccine, which they should continue to get yearly.
The second year
By age 2, your child should be protected against 14 preventable diseases. Boosters of the following vaccines continue to help your child develop immunity:
- Hepatitis A
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
They’ll also receive boosters of the DTap, polio, pneumococcal, hepatitis B, and Hib vaccines.
When your child is between the ages of 4 and 6, they’ll get another booster of these major vaccines, including DTaP, polio, MMR, and chickenpox.
We recommend preteens get four different vaccines, including meningococcal conjugate vaccine, Tdap, flu, and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. These vaccines not only protect your child, they also protect their friends and your family members from serious diseases.
Typically, your child gets vaccines as part of their regular wellness checkup, but some vaccines (such as the one for HPV) require a series of injections scheduled over a period of several weeks or months.
Some children can’t be vaccinated
Dr. Lubega will let you know if your child has a condition, such as allergies or an underlying medical issue, that means they can’t be vaccinated safely. We work closely with you to help prevent them from getting diseases.
Because some children can’t be vaccinated, it’s all the more important that healthy children get vaccines. Vaccinated children help reduce the spread of contagious diseases throughout the community.
At First Pediatric Care Center, we care about your child’s health. Schedule preventive health care, including vaccinations, for your child by calling our office or scheduling online.