Some of the most terrible diseases in history have been making a comeback recently. We’ve seen outbreaks of pertussis, measles, mumps, even polio—diseases we have rarely seen in the U.S. for years.
One of the easiest ways to prevent many of these diseases is to vaccinate against them. In addition to protecting the vaccinated child, immunizing individual children also helps protect the health of the community, especially those who cannot be immunized.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, newborn babies are immune to many diseases because they have antibodies passed down from their mothers. However, this immunity goes away during the first year and for this reason, childhood immunization begins at birth.
There are currently 14 diseases that can be prevented with routine childhood vaccinations:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Influenza (flu)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Pneumococcal Disease
- Varicella (chickenpox)
All childhood vaccines are given as a series of two or more doses. However, if you have concerns about your child receiving so many doses at one time, talk to your doctor. There is some flexibility for when some of the vaccines can be administered. Share any questions or concerns you have about vaccinations with your child’s pediatrician.
For a printable immunization schedule, click here. For regular reminders, there’s an app for that. Search the latest immunization recommendations—whenever and wherever you choose—by age, condition, etc., using this free app from the American Academy of Family Physicians.