We are fortunate enough to live in an era with the medical technology capable of preventing terrible diseases that caused significant suffering to past generations. The immunization schedule outlined for children ages 0 to 6 year of age is designed to protect your child from the measles, polio, and countless other devastating diseases. Keeping to a recommended immunization schedule is key to ensuring the vaccinations do their job effectively.
Why Do Childhood Vaccinations Matter?
When your baby is growing in the womb, she is in a sterile environment safe from the threats of the outside world. Immediately after birth, your baby’s immune system must begin confronting bacteria and developing immune responses to environmental threats. However, your baby’s immune system isn’t strong enough to combat serious and life-threatening illnesses like the measles or polio.
The recommended vaccination schedule helps to protect your child from 14 life-threatening diseases in her first two years of life. Without these vaccines, your child becomes entirely vulnerable to the whooping cough, the measles, and many other illnesses. This also makes it more likely that your child will spread a dangerous disease to a child too young to have received full vaccinations or a person with a weakened immune system.
The Importance of a Vaccine Schedule
Vaccines cannot be provided randomly. It is essential that your child sticks to your pediatrician’s recommended vaccination schedule. This will maximize the effectiveness of the vaccines and offer the best possible protection to your child’s growing immune system. Delaying vaccinations also puts your baby at risk of contracting a disease like the chicken pox or the measles in the time she is waiting for her shots.
Doctors and public health experts have carefully designed the current vaccination schedule recommendations to provide the highest level of safety and efficacy for children. It does not benefit your child to skip or delay vaccinations.
Example of a Vaccination Schedule
As soon as your child is born, she needs her first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccination. Her second dose of the HepB can occur when she turns two months old, along with the first doses of her Rotavirus, DTaP, and polio vaccinations. Some vaccinations only need three doses, but others like the DTaP require five doses in the first six years of life.
Be sure to communicate with your pediatrician and schedule your child’s doctor’s appointments based on the recommended schedule. Dr. Stephen Nelson has offices in St. Petersburg, Tyrone, and Largo to give your child the vaccinations she needs. Call (727) 525-2161 now to schedule an appointment.