To keep your child healthy, as well as protected, childhood vaccines are extremely important. A vaccine is a medicine that produces antibodies and will help to prevent diseases from occurring.
It is due to these vaccines that children rarely get certain diseases anymore such as polio, mumps, rubella and measles. Though there is a risk, childhood vaccines are generally considered safe. There are some side effects involved in getting childhood vaccines, but they are, most often, limited in severity. There are many different types of childhood vaccines that every parent should be aware.
The flu vaccine should be given in the fall or early winter. It contains expired viruses. There are different flu viruses each year so yearly vaccination is important.
The DTaP vaccination protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. It is given together as one shot and five separate series between the ages of 2 months and 6 years with a booster vaccine ideally being given at 11 or 12 years of age. If the booster is missed during this time it can be given between the ages of 13 and 18 years of age.
A tetanus/diphtheria booster, also called Td, is encouraged every 10 years thereafter the one given in the teen years.
Hib vaccine protects against haemophilus influenzae. These bacteria can cause meningitis. This vaccine is given to children three times on separate occasions and then a booster is recommend between the ages of 2 months and 15 months.
IPV, which stands for inactivated polio vaccine, is given to your child on four separate occasions between the ages of 2 months and 6 years old.
Certain allergies to some of the antibiotics prohibit giving the IPV vaccine.
PCV7, also known as pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, is another important vaccine. This vaccine protects against pneumonia, blood infections, and/or bacterial meningitis. Four immunizations are given between the ages of 2 months and 15 months and help to protect against this disease for 3 years.
MMR, or measles, mumps, and rubella, helps to protect the majority of children from these diseases. The vaccination is given twice to children between the ages of 1 year to 6 years old.
The varicella vaccination, more commonly known as chickenpox, is administered once at the 12 month to 15 month age group and then again in the 4 to 6 year child.
The hepatitis A, or HepA vaccine, is generally given at age 1 year for the first time. It is in a series of two injections, the second one given 6 months later.
MCV4 is a meningitis vaccine that is given to children between the ages of 11 and 12 years of age. It is also suggested that this vaccination be given again in the older teen and college level young adult. It offers protection for approximately 10 years.
The human papillomavirus, HPV vaccine, or Gardasil, is given to 11 and 12 year girls. This vaccination is given over a 6-month timeframe in three series. This immunization protects against cervical cancer.
Kids Health: Your Child's Immunizations
Familydoctor: Childhood Vaccines: What they are and why your child needs them
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Combination Vaccines for Childhood Immunizations
MedlinePlus: Childhood Immunization
National Institutes of Health: Childhood Vaccine Schedule
Pediatrics: Childhood Vaccinations, Vaccination Timing, and Risk of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
Pediatrics: The Cost of Giving Childhood Vaccinations: Differences Among Provider Types