Keeping your baby’s shots up to date is a very important factor to your baby’s health. Immunizations (or “vaccinations”) are given from birth and into early childhood.
Immunizations are usually given during routine “checkup” visits to your doctor or clinic. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies receive the following vaccinations (health care providers typically use the initials when they talk about these immunizations):
• Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib)
• Inactivated polio (IPV)
• Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
• Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP)
• Pneumococcal (PCV)
• Hepatitis B (HepB)
• Influenza (flu)
• Varicella (chickenpox)
Immunizations are routine procedural shots that can keep your child healthy for a lifetime. Many of the immunizations are for diseases that frequently are seen in the early years of a child’s life and others will prevent your baby from getting particular illnesses over the course of their entire life.
Although the experience of getting these vaccinations is not usually pleasant for a baby (they typically involve getting in injection via hypodermic needle), they’re well worth the minor bit of temporary pain for the long-term health of the child.
The diseases these vaccinations protect your baby from are very serious. Babies may become very ill and even die if they are allowed to develop the diseases that are prevented by these shots.
Your doctor or health care clinic will notify you when it is time for your baby’s first shot, which generally occurs at three months.