What Are the Most Important Vaccines for Infants?
Before your baby is even born, you and your pediatrician may discuss an immunization schedule that begins at birth . This schedule consists of a number of important vaccinations that will keep your child safe, healthy, and eligible for enrollment in school.
Here are some of the earliest vaccinations that your child will need to follow the recommended schedule from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
The HepB vaccine protects your child from hepatitis B, which is a very serious virus that can destroy the liver. The first dose of this immunization will be given at birth, and the final dose should be scheduled when your child is between 6 and 18 months old.
DTaP is a combination vaccine given at the ages of two, four, and six months with boosters at 15 months and 4 years. This vaccine provides protection from diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. It is of particular importance because recent outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) among infants have been seen in various regions throughout the country. While this condition is generally not life-threatening, it can be painful for children and persist for a period of several months.
While flu may not be serious for adults, it can be a significant threat for infants with less immunity. Therefore, children may receive influenza vaccinations beginning at the age of six months, and these vaccines are given annually to protect from the most prominent flu strains of each new flu season.
The MMR, or Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine, is another combination vaccine that protects from these three illnesses that could be life-threatening for children. This vaccination is administered at 12 months, and one dose will generally protect an individual from these viruses for life.
To schedule immunizations for your infant or find a pediatrician who can answer your questions about your baby’s health, contact Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. By calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line, you can explore our specialized pediatric care services, find a doctor, and sign up for healthy living classes and events at our hospital. You can also connect with us on our website by following this link.