Vaccines: How to Keep Your Child’s Shots on Track
Vaccinating your children according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the best ways you can protect them from 14 harmful and potentially deadly diseases before their second birthday.
On-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
Every day your child gets exposed to thousands of germs. This can happen during eating, breathing, and putting things into the mouth. When babies are born, his or her immune system isn’t fully developed which can pose a greater risk for infection. Vaccines help reduce your child’s risk of infection by working with their body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease.
It can be overwhelming trying to remember what shot is needed, how often and at what age.
As a friendly reminder, here is a breakdown by age groups to help you keep track of your child’s needs.
A Healthy Start: Babies from Birth to Age 16
Getting all the shots recommended by age 6 with follow up vaccines during the teenage years will protect your child from dangerous diseases.
Childhood Immunization Schedule
Influenza vaccine is recommended annually for all children and adolescents 6 months of age and older.
The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend every child continues to receive vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Regardless of age, tell the doctor about bad reactions.
Serious side effects after getting a vaccine – like a severe allergic reaction – are very rare. When your child gets a vaccine, pay extra attention to your child for a few days afterwards. If you see something that worries you, call your pediatrician.
Are immunizations safe?
Currently, the U.S. has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Vaccines are thoroughly tested for before approved or used by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) to ensure that they are very safe.
Although there has been extensive media coverage surrounding shots and autism, research hasn’t shown any link between vaccines and autism.
- If your child is late getting vaccinated, talk to your pediatrician about “catch-up” shots.
- Find out which recommended shots your child needs and keep the list in a safe place – you will need it for school and other activities.
- Each vaccine protects you and your child from different diseases. Some vaccines require more than one round of shots. Your child needs all of the shots on time to be fully protected.