What Shots Does My Baby Receive and When?

What shots does my baby receive and when?

One of the most stressful things for parents especially at the beginning is when their baby receives vaccines (shots). I know that even though I am a pediatrician the first few times my baby got her vaccination injections I felt so anxious and upset seeing her crying and in pain after the shots. There are certain basic immunizations that all children receive but each state has its own requirements, which may vary state to state. The following is the recommended immunization schedule for children in the United States:

When your baby is born she may receive the 1st Hepatitis B vaccine depending upon what your pediatrician and the hospital recommends. Therefore your baby will get her 1st Hepatitis B vaccine either at birth or at 1 to 2 months of age. Besides the Hepatitis B vaccine your baby will receive the first set of vaccinations are at 2 months of age.

This first set of shots, which are usually, not all given at the same pediatric visit are as follows:

  • DTaP (Diphtheria and Tetanus toxoids and acellular Pertussis)
  • Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae type b)
  • IPV (Inactivated Polio vaccine
  •  Hepatitis B vaccine (either #1 or #2 depending upon whether infant receive vaccine at birth)
  • PCV or Prevnar (Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)
  • Rotateq vaccine (not required in NYS and many other places but recommended)

DTaP vaccine protects and gives infant immunity to Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis. Haemophilus Influenzae type b vaccine protects infants from a form of bacterial meningitis, which has a high risk of infant mortality when infants get the disease. Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver which

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver which if contracted can have multiple and serious complications including liver failure in infants. IPV or Inactivated Polio vaccine protects the infant from polio, a devastating disease that can cause respiratory failure and paralysis in infants.

IPV or Inactivated Polio vaccine protects the infant from polio, a devastating disease that can cause respiratory failure and paralysis in infants.

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects babies from pneumococcal (also called Streptococcus) infections, which can cause bacterial and meningitis infections, which affect the brain and spinal cord, and is life threatening possibly causing death or brain damage. Streptococcus can also cause ear and sinus infections.

Rotateq vaccine protects infants against Rotavirus, which a diarrheal disease, which can be life threatening and infants in some places in the developing world, is a cause of death. Rotateq is not a shot and is given by mouth to infants.

Infants are usually given 2 vaccine injections at the most at pediatric visit.

However, your baby can get more than 2 vaccine injections but I do not recommend giving infants and children more than 2 vaccine injections during a pediatric visit. Most parents do not want their infants to have more than 2 injections also and some may only want 1 vaccine injection at a pediatric visit, which is fine too. You can schedule your baby for another pediatric visit in 1 or 2 weeks to get some or the rest of the vaccines given at 2 months of age.

The next series of vaccinations will be given at or around 4 months of age which are as follows:

  • DTaP
  • Haemophilus Influenzae type b conjugate
  • IPV
  • Hepatitis B (if this is your baby’s #2 hepatitis vaccine)
  • PVC or Prevnar
  • Rotateq

Again babies usually get not more than 1 or 2 of these vaccines at each pediatric visit.

The next set of immunizations are given at 6 months of age are:

  • DTaP
  •  Hepatitis B (if this is your baby’s #3 vaccine)
  • IPV
  • Prevnar
  • Rotateq
  • Haemophilus Influenzae type b conjugate
  • Influenza vaccine is recommended for babies 6 months and older yearly

The next set of vaccines are given at 1 year of age are:

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
  • Varicella
  • Haemophilus Influenzae type b conjugate
  • Prevnar
  • Hepatitis A

Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine protects your baby against these potentially life threatening diseases. Hepatitis B protects against Hepatitis A infection, which can cause an infection of the liver. Varicella vaccine protects against chicken pox.

As you can see from the immunization schedule your baby can also get DTaP, Hepatitis B and IPV if she did not receive them by 6 months of age. The 4th dose of DTaP is given at 12, 15 or 18 months. There needs to be 6 months between the 3rd and 4th DTaP doses. The second MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine) is given at 4 to 6 years of age. The second dose of Varicella vaccine is usually given at 4 to 6 years of age. Also, the second dose of Hepatitis A vaccine should be given 6 months after the 1st dose. The 5th dose of DTaP is given between 4 and 6 years of age.

There are other vaccinations when your baby is older but I have focused on the ones your baby would get.

Dr. Gina Lamb – Amato, MD, is a general pediatrician and developmental pediatrician. She has a masters in child therapy and works with a child psychologist performing office and home consultation for newborns and parents, office and home developmental assessments, school consultations and parent child playgroups where play and art along with baby massage and other techniques are used to help parents bond and support their child’s development.

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