Children have weak immune systems, especially very young children. The best way to help protect them as their immune systems grow stronger is to get them vaccinated following the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule. If you’ve lost track of what vaccines your child has or needs it may seem a little overwhelming, but we’re here to help!
Why Vaccines Matter
Vaccines are the only way to make sure your child is protected against multiple potentially deadly viruses. Even less serious vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, are able to increase your child’s chances of remaining healthy by up to 80%. Children begin receiving vaccines shortly after they’re born and if they follow the recommended schedule, they should be kept safe and healthy. Babies aren’t able to receive all vaccines until a certain age, so they depend on their older peers to get vaccinated and prevent the spread.
Vaccines Your Child Needs or Needs Updated
Your child will receive their first vaccine right after birth, this is the HepB vaccine. they’ll continue to receive vaccines at each pediatrician follow-up. These follow-up appointments should fall around 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12 months. After 12 months of age your child’s exact follow-up schedule will be up to their pediatrician. After 2 years of age, children typically only need to be seen once a year unless they’re ill. Some vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine, can’t be given until 12 months of age. You can view the full vaccine schedule here. Vaccines that are listed at multiple ages are vaccines that need to be updated over time to remain effective. That includes the flu vaccine which your child needs every year.
Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s vaccinations, speak with their healthcare provider. If you’ve missed a few appointments and they’ve fallen behind on their vaccine schedule, it’s important to get them back on schedule as soon as possible! Leaving your child unvaccinated or with out-of-date vaccinations leaves them at risk for multiple life-threatening diseases. Vaccinations are completely safe with no links to autism or other developmental delays. It’s okay to have concerns about vaccinations, but you should never decide not to vaccinate before talking through those concerns with a pediatrician.
If your child still needs their flu shot this year, stop by your local urgent care center or walk-in clinic today to keep them protected!