With all the talk of vaccines lately, you may need a refresher on which vaccines your baby needs. Whether you have a baby, you’re about to have one, or you help take care of them, if there are babies in your life whom you love, this is important information.
At Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, our providers are passionate about protecting you, your family, and your loved ones from life-threatening diseases.
Vaccines are one of the best methods of providing this protection, so here’s up-to-date information on vaccinations that your baby needs.
Why are vaccinations important?
Vaccinations, also known as vaccines or immunizations, give your body the defenses it needs to fight specific illnesses that could cause you harm.
The idea behind most vaccines is that your doctor injects a small portion of a weakened or killed disease-causing bacteria or virus into your body. Your body then automatically launches its defense system, which stimulates production of antibodies to fight the disease.
These antibodies stay in your body, where they can protect you against future infections from the same disease.
Immunizations are vital for protecting us from dangerous and even life-threatening diseases. Without vaccines, our children would be defenseless against diseases that can cause infertility, paralysis, and death.
We need vaccines until a disease is entirely eliminated. As an example, although polio isn’t common in the United States, kids and adults here could still be exposed to it by travelers from other countries where polio is more prevalent. For that reason, we still give the vaccine.
What vaccinations does your baby need?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a recommended immunization schedule for kids 18 years old and under. Keep in mind that some of these vaccines require multiple shots at different ages to provide full protection.
Here are recommended vaccines for babies, from birth to 15 months:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Pneumococcal conjugate
- Haemophilus influenzae type b
- Flu (annually)
As an adult, you should consider boosters of some of these vaccines — you should get a tetanus shot every 10 years, for example. You may also need specific vaccines if you travel to certain other countries.
If you’re about to have a baby and want to develop a plan for their vaccination, or if it’s time for your baby’s next round of immunizations, Arlington Family Practice can help. Just call our office or fill out our convenient online scheduler, and we’ll have your child protected in no time!