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Vaccine Information for Kids

To vaccinate or not? That is the question many parents ask themselves. Some are worried about the side effects and are opting out of vaccinations for their kids. Protecting your child’s health is a delicate and vital issue, which is why we’ve taken a look at both sides of the loaded vaccination question. Use the resources below to learn about the benefits and potential risks of vaccination and the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule for children.

Vaccines are important preventative measures against infectious diseases. Some vaccines last a lifetime, while others require repeated booster shots as the initial effect wears off. If your child is headed to school, most schools require that you provide an updated list of mandated vaccines that vary by state. Here is a 2010 vaccination schedule as recommended by the CDC for newborns to children aged six years:

  • Hepatitis B: First dose should be administered at birth before hospital discharge. Second dose should be given at 1 to 2 months. The final dose should be administered between 6 months and 18 months of age.
  • Rotavirus: Administer first dose between 6 and 14 weeks, with a maximum age of 14 weeks and 6 days. Second and third doses should be administered at 4 and 6 months of age, respectively. The maximum age for completing the final dose is 8 months.
  • Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP): The first three doses should be administered at 2, 4 and 6 months. The fourth dose may be administered as early as 12 months of age, provided at least 6 months have elapsed since the third dose, or as late as 18 months. The final dose should be administered in the range of 4-6 years.
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib): Should not be administered earlier than 6 weeks. The first three doses should be administered at 2, 4 and 6 months, with the final dose falling between 12 to 15 months of age.
  • Pneumococcal: There are two varieties of this vaccine. The first, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is more common for young children and is administered in 4 doses, at 2, 4, 6 and 12-15 months. Certain high-risk groups, such as those with sickle cell disease or those who’ve received a cochlear implant, require an additional dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) between 2 and 6 years.
  • Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV): Should not be administered earlier than 6 weeks. Second dose should be administered at 4 months of age, and the third between 6 to 18 months. The final dose should be given between 4 and 6 years.
  • Influenza (seasonal): First dose should not be administered before 6 months of age. The CDC recommends that children aged 6 months through 18 years receive the vaccine annually. For children under age 9 who are receiving the influenza vaccine for the first time, 2 doses separated by 4 weeks should be administered.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR): The first dose should be administered between 12 and 15 months. The second dose should be administered between 4 and 6 years of age.
  • Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA): Administer to all children after their first birthday, 2 doses at least 6 months apart.
  • Meningococcal vaccine: Recommended only for high-risk groups within this age range, such as children with anatomic of functional asplenia.

This piece was originally published on August 6, 2010

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