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Staying on Top of Your Child’s Immunizations

Ensuring your child’s immunizations are on schedule can protect them from a wide variety of possibly serious illnesses.

What is the Typical Vaccination Age for Children?

Physicians are now recommending that children quickly and safely be brought up to date on their immunizations. As long as your child is not immunized against preventable illnesses, they are vulnerable to diseases commonly spread by communities, such as measles and whooping cough.

Your physician will give you a list of immunizations for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of those immunizations include:

  • For Birth – 15 months: Hepatitis B; Rotavirus; Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis; Measles, Mumps, and Rubella; and more.
  • For 18 months to 18 years: Human papillomavirus; meningococcal; polio; influenza; and more.

Some vaccines will require booster shots or additional doses as your child ages. Your physician will give you a detailed list of the typical vaccination age for most children. Unless your child is immunocompromised, it’s important that your kids receive all recommended vaccines to help ensure their own health and the health of the broader community.

This Includes Influenza

Your child’s vaccine schedule likely includes an annual influenza vaccine, sometimes simply called the “flu shot.” Because the influenza virus mutates rapidly, annual shots are required to build up an immunization against the newest crop of flu strains. Flu shots can help limit the chances that your children contract the flu, preventing a seasonal illness that can sometimes turn serious.

Maintaining a Good Vaccine Schedule Can Keep Your Children Safer

Maintaining a good vaccine schedule can keep your children safer in the long run:

  • By protecting your child from serious illnesses, you can prevent trips to hospitals or urgent care facilities (both of which may be more crowded).
  • When your child has been vaccinated, you can help narrow down the possibilities of potential illnesses if your child does become ill.
  • Vaccines can prevent long-term complications from illnesses. Mumps, for example, can cause deafness and measles can cause pneumonia and blindness. Vaccines protect your children from these long-term complications.

Because it’s now safe to bring your family back to the clinic, many parents have questions about where to start. They don’t remember where they left off with their children’s vaccinations, so they aren’t sure how to schedule the next set of shots.

The best way to figure out what’s up next for vaccines is to talk to your child’s pediatrician during a well visit. (If you haven’t scheduled one of those for a while, now’s a good time to peek at our recommended schedule of well-checks for infants and toddlers. You can also determine a good time for a well check by looking at specific milestones–this works especially well for older kids.) 

How Effective Are Vaccines?

Vaccines are the most effective tool physicians have when it comes to preventing specific illnesses and diseases. The MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, for example, prevents these three diseases in 97% of cases. 

What’s more, when nearly everyone in a community is immunized, populations benefit from something called herd immunity. This means that the disease does not have enough vectors–or enough people to infect–to spread effectively. 

Vaccines work by exposing the immune system to inactivated or partial sequences of viruses and bacteria. Your immune response then learns how to successfully combat that particular virus or bacteria, providing a strong defense against future infection. In this way, vaccines can protect you and your loved ones against a wide range of illnesses.

Schedule Your Child’s Immunizations Today

There are currently 16 possible immunizations that your child may require. Getting your child back on their vaccine schedule–and staying on top of your kid’s immunizations–can help protect your children and your family from otherwise preventable illnesses. 

Your child’s immunizations are an essential part of their overall healthcare. To talk to your child’s pediatrician about immunization schedules, contact our offices today!