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A Guide on Newborn Vaccinations for First-Time Parents

Baby getting a shot

While vaccines are a hot-button topic these days, science has proven that they’re more effective than ever at fighting serious diseases, such as polio, meningitis, and the flu. If you’re confused about childhood vaccinations in West Michigan and when to get them, keep reading for an easy breakdown for first-time parents.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that causes irreversible damage and chronic infection to the liver. The vaccination is given in three doses, the first being right after childbirth. Mothers who are positive for hepatitis B can pass the virus on to their children during natural delivery. The second and third doses are given at 1 month old and 6 six months old, respectively. Immunization is usually good for up to 20 years.

Hepatitis A

While hepatitis A is more common in adults, immunizations at an early age reduce the chances of developing hepatitis A later in life. The vaccine is usually administered between 1 to 2 years old with a follow-up vaccination 6 months later.

Rotavirus

The rotavirus has two forms, thus, there are two vaccines to treat both varieties. The vaccine for the first rotavirus is given at 2 and 4 months old while the second rotavirus vaccine is given at 2, 4, and 6 months old. Both viruses cause vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration but the vaccine prevents 85% of cases in the first year.

DTaP

DTaP is the combination vaccine that protects infants against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. DTaP doses are given five times: at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, and 18 months. Booster shots of DTaP are administered at 4 and 6 years of age. Immunization is good for approximately 10 years.

Vaccinations and needle

Polio

Polio is a paralyzing virus eradicated in the 1950s thanks to widespread vaccination. Doses are given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Booster shots to maintain immunity levels are given to children between 4 and 6 before they’re admitted to school.

MMRV

The MMRV vaccine will immunize your child against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chicken pox). These four diseases and their long term complications are not seen as often because of widespread immunization. MMRV vaccines are given between 12 to 15 months and again around 4 years of age before children start school.

Influenza

Newborns are usually not immunized against the flu because the mother is usually vaccinated during pregnancy. Doctors suggest waiting until their 6-month checkup before getting this vaccination, except in cases of widespread outbreak. Children and adults should get their flu shot every year as every year several children and adults die from flu or its complications.

PCV

Short for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV protects against 13 of the most common and severe strains of pneumococcal bacteria which cause pneumonia and ear infections. There are four doses of PCV given at 2, 4, and 6 months old with the final immunization administered at 12 months old. As bacteria adapt and become resistant to modern antibiotics, the PCV vaccine is more important than ever.

Meningitis

Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria are responsible for the development of meningitis, an infection of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Immunizations are administered at 2 and 4 months of age. A third dose is given at 6 months old depending on the brand of the vaccine and the health of the child. The final booster is given around 12 months, and immunizations last for several years.

For childhood vaccinations and pediatric services schedule an appointment today with a primary care provider at Family Health Care.