Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious diseases. They work by teaching your body’s immune system how to fight off specific germs. When a child has been fully vaccinated, they’re much more likely to stay healthy and strong against different diseases.
What Are Vaccines?
Vaccinations are one of the most important public health advances in medical history. They prepare your body and give you active acquired immunity to particular infectious diseases. Vaccines work by exposing the body to a weakened or inactive form of a pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria. The vaccine triggers the body’s immune system to produce antibodies, which are proteins that can recognize and fight off the pathogen if it is ever encountered again.
Why Does Your Child Need To Get Vaccinated?
Getting vaccinated is important for everyone, but they are especially important for children. Children are more susceptible to infectious diseases because their immune systems are still developing. Vaccines can help protect children from serious illnesses and complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, and encephalitis.
Keeping Your Child Up to Date On Their Vaccinations
The vaccination schedule for children is designed to protect them from a variety of serious diseases at the ages when they are most at risk or when the vaccine will be most effective. The schedule is based on the latest scientific evidence and is updated regularly to reflect new knowledge and changing disease patterns.
Some vaccines work best when given at specific ages, while others require multiple doses over time to improve your child’s immunity. Follow your doctor’s recommended vaccination schedule as closely as possible. This will ensure that your child has the best possible protection from preventable diseases.
Recommended Vaccination Schedule: Birth to 18 Months Old
From the moment your child is born, they can be susceptible to many diseases that their still developing immune system may struggle against. Most of the needed vaccinations for your child are during this time period. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children receive the following vaccines according to the following schedule:
- Birth to 2 months: Hepatitis B vaccination (HepB)
- 2 months to 6 months: Rotavirus (RV), Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis (DTaP), Tetanus, Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV), Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib), inactivated poliovirus (IPV) vaccinations
- 6 months to 18 months: COVID-19 vaccination, start of annual vaccination for Influenza (IIV4), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Varicella (VAR), and Hepatitis A (HepA) vaccinations
Recommended Vaccination Schedule: 19 Months Old to 6 Years Old
At this age, your baby starts developing and growing quickly into a young child. During this time period, most of what they need are follow-up and booster doses of their primary vaccinations.
The number of doses needed for a particular vaccine and the interval between doses vary depending on the vaccine. It’s important to stick to the recommended number of doses by your pediatrician. These follow-up and booster doses are responsible for boosting your child’s immune response, protecting against different strains of the disease and maintaining your child’s immunity over time.
Recommended Vaccination Schedule: 7 to 18 Years Old
Your child should be fully vaccinated for most of their primary vaccinations. Children in this age range are experiencing many changes, including physical, emotional, and social changes. They are also more likely to engage in activities that could expose them to diseases, such as sports and travel.
These are the recommended vaccinations for children ages 7 to 18 years old by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Annual vaccination for the influenza virus
- 7 years old: Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination
- 9 years old: Vaccination against dengue
- 11 years old: Human papillomavirus (HPV) and Meningococcal B (MenB-4C, MenB-FHbp) vaccinations
Catching Up on Vaccinations
Missed a vaccination for your children? Don’t worry! Catch-up vaccinations are vaccines that are given to people who have missed one or more doses of their recommended vaccines. They can still help protect people from serious diseases, even if they are older.
Anyone can get catch-up vaccinations, regardless of their age. However, they are especially important for children and adolescents who have fallen behind on their vaccination schedules. The best time to get a catch-up vaccination is as soon as possible. There is no upper age limit, and they are beneficial for people of all ages.
If you are unsure whether you are up to date on your child’s vaccinations, talk to your pediatrician. They can review your child’s vaccination record and recommend any catch-up vaccinations they may need.
Reliable Pediatrician in Fairless Hills
Vaccines are an essential part of keeping children healthy. They are safe, effective, and save lives. Keep track of your child’s vaccinations to make sure they are up-to-date and well-protected. If you have any questions or concerns about vaccines, be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician. They can help you figure out the best time for your child to get vaccinated and what they need to stay healthy.
Our pediatricians at Patient Care Now in Fairless Hills are here and ready to help your child get vaccinated today. We offer flu vaccines, tetanus vaccines, and other urgent pediatric care services for your child’s medical needs. Get the best possible pediatric urgent care at Patient Care Now – no appointment necessary. You can call ahead at (267) 202-6433 to let us know you’re coming.