10 Vaccines Recommended for BabiesJillian Capewell
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 1 of 12
1: Hepatitis B
When to get it*: Once at birth, once at 1-2 months, and once between 6 and 18 months
What it does: Immunizes baby against Hepatitis B infection, which results in jaundice, diarrhea, and/or vomiting and can cause liver disease. Though some Hepatitis B patients recover after several weeks, some become chronically infected and carry the disease for life. Most children with the disease contract it during birth from infected mothers. However, an early vaccination insures protection for over 20 years.
*We know vaccinating your baby can be scary, considering the now-discredited rumors about vaccines that have circulated in recent years. Read more about the vaccine debate here.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 2 of 12
When to get it: In 3 doses administered at 2, 3, and 4 months
What it does: This combined vaccine protects against the bacterial infections diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). These diseases may sound old-school, but they are still around and highly contagious. Diptheria, now rare in the U.S., affects breathing and can damage major organs. Tetanus, typically contracted through cuts or puncture wounds, causes sudden, powerful muscle spasms strong enough to break bones. Pertussis can lead to violent coughing spells that prevent an infected child from eating, drinking, and breathing.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 3 of 12
When to get it: In 4 doses at 2, 4, 6, and between 12 and 15 months
What it does: This vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease, an illness spread by bacteria that can also lead to ear infections, blood infections, and death. Before the vaccine was given to young children, pneumococcal disease was a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in patients under age 5. Children with sickle cell disease or HIV infection, as well as some groups including African Americans and some Native American tribes, are more susceptible to infection.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 4 of 12
When to get it: In 4 doses at 2, 4, and 6 months, and between 12 and 15 months
What it does: This vaccine protects against Hib, a disease spread by airborne bacteria that can lead to meningitis or pneumonia. According to the CDC, Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b) was the principal cause of bacterial meningitis in kids under 5 years old. Children who contracted Hib could suffer permanent brain damage or die as a result of the disease.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 5 of 12
When to get it: In 3 doses, at 2, 4, and between 6 and 18 months
What it does: This vaccine, which is also known as IPV, has made the polio virus virtually disappear from American pediatricians patient records. Polio is spread through contact with an infected persons fecal matter or contaminated food or water. The disease affects the nervous system, causing paralysis throughout the body. Before the widespread use of the vaccine, the virus affected about 20,000 patients each year during the 1950s, leaving them unable to walk, or at times breathe, on their own.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 6 of 12
When to get it: In 3 doses, at 2, 4, and 6 months
What it does: The RV vaccine protects against infections caused by the rotavirus. Symptoms generally involve severe diarrhea and vomiting in young children. The CDC recommends the vaccine because rotavirus-related diarrhea is still extremely common in the United States. In 2010, after just 4 years of administering the vaccine, the number of babies and young children who needed emergency care related to the virus had decreased by 85 percent.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 7 of 12
When to get it: Recommended for every flu season, starting from 6 months
What it does: This vaccine protects against the influenza virus, more commonly known as the flu. The flu is a seasonal illness, with a frequency that rises as the temperature starts to drop. It causes fever, sore throat, cough, headache, chills, and muscle aches. In more severe cases, the illness can lead to inflammation of the heart, pneumonia, and even death. The elderly are the group the most prone to severe cases of the flu, but young children are also susceptible.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 8 of 12
8: Varicella (Chickenpox)
When to get it: In 2 doses, at 12-15 months and between 4 and 6 years
What it does: Though the characteristic itchy, red rash caused by chickenpox seems like a rite of passage for childhood, the CDC now recommends the chickenpox vaccine for children under 1. Chickenpox itself is a generally mild illness, but the virus that causes it can lead to skin infections, brain swelling, and pneumonia. The severity of the illness increases as your child gets older, so immunizing at a young age is a good idea.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 9 of 12
When to get it: In 2 doses, at 12-15 months and between 4-6 years
What it does: This triple-whammy of a vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. The relatively mild symptoms of these diseases — rash, runny nose, fever, or headache can lead to more serious complications, including pneumonia, seizures, meningitis, or death. According to the CDC, the number of reported cases of these diseases has been reduced by 99% since the introduction of the vaccine. The vaccine is recommended for babies and children entering school and is effective for life.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 10 of 12
10: Hepatitis A
When to get it: In 1 dose, between 12 and 23 months
What it does: This vaccine protects against the Hepatitis A virus, which is contracted by coming into contact with blood or feces containing it. Like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A can cause liver disease and lead to loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, stomach pain, vomiting, and jaundice, but unlike Hep B, its not chronic. Infected children who are younger than 6 years old may not show any symptoms, but the vaccine is the only way to prevent contracting the disease.
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 11 of 12
CDC Immunization Schedule
10 Vaccines Recommended for Babies 12 of 12