By Kenneth Thomas, MD – Chief Medical Officer, Pediatrician
Scheduling children for vaccinations can be challenging. The recommended schedule shows a list of diseases and dates for immunizations — six sets from 2 -18 months of age.
Plus more at age 4 years, to start school, and again at starting at age 11, all together providing protection against more than a dozen diseases.
Yes, it’s complicated. And important.
Let me explain. In a previous post, I answered some common questions about vaccines.
Vaccines work by stimulating the body to create defenses against disease-bearing bacteria or viruses. A vaccine contains a weakened version of the germ (or toxin they produce), or subunits (parts) of the germ to “imitate” an infection – just enough to prompt the body’s immune system to get to busy fighting off the infection. Once the body fights off this imitation infection, it can “remember” and fight off a real infection if it occurs.
Decades of research have developed the detailed schedules of recommended vaccines throughout a lifetime — the process assures that appropriate vaccines are given to children at the right ages, in the right sequence, and at the right intervals.
You see, the vaccines are carefully timed for maximum effectiveness. Some vaccines require multiple doses to achieve immunity or booster doses to maintain protection.
Here is our recommended routine vaccination schedule:
|At Age||…Receive a Vaccination to Prevent|
|• Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis / Hepatitis B / Polio (Dose1)
• Pneumococcal disease (Dose 1)
• Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Dose 1 – we typically use a 3 dose series)
• Rotavirus (Dose 1 – we typically use a 2 dose series)
|• Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis / Hepatitis B / Polio (Dose 2)
• Pneumococcal disease (Dose 2)
• Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Dose 2)
• Rotavirus (Dose 2)
|• Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis / Hepatitis B / Polio (Dose 3)
• Pneumococcal disease (Dose 3)
|Nine months||Catch up any as needed|
|12 months||• Measles, mumps, rubella (Dose 1)
• Varicella (chickenpox) (Dose 1)
• Hepatitis A (Dose 1)
Note: other vaccines may be given at this point to catch up or if an accelerated schedule is needed.
|• Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Dose 4)
• Pneumococcal disease (Dose 4)
• Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Dose 3)
|18 months||• Hepatitis A (Dose 2)|
|• Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Dose 5)
• Polio (Dose 4)
• Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (Dose 2)
|11 years||• Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis
• Meningococcal disease (Dose 1 of 2)
• Human Papilloma Virus (starting 3 dose series)
|16 years||• Meningococcal disease (Dose 2)|
Our recommended schedule complies with state immunization requirements for public schools and aligns with the latest guidance from the medical profession and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (You can learn more from the CDC website.)
Vaccines will help keep your children safe and healthy. Please bring your children for regular physical and Well-Child exams. Call 816-923-5800 to schedule an appointment.
Have other questions about vaccines? Leave your question in the comment box below or come visit the SHS pediatric clinic.