Childhood immunizations are important
Published 11:43 am Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Can you believe school will be back in session in just a few weeks? As we schedule fall sports physicals and children are entering preschool, it’s time to ensure that your child’s vaccinations are up to date. Research indicates that about twenty-five percent of preschoolers are missing one routine immunization. Most states, including North Carolina, require your child to have a complete immunization record. So if your child has missed an immunization, your doctor will resume the immunization schedule where you left off.
It’s not unusual for new parents to be overwhelmed by the schedule of childhood immunizations. The vaccines are recommended by organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC, and the American Academy of Family Physicians and cover fourteen diseases. These inoculations safeguard your child from life-threatening illnesses like diphtheria, tetanus, and polio and eliminate the spread of these disorders from child to child.
Unlike the mRNA Covid inoculant, the vaccines for childhood diseases are developed from dead or weakened renditions of viruses or parts of bacteria. When exposed to a vaccine, your child’s immune system is activated to build antibodies that protect them from contracting the disease. While there have been some safety concerns raised over the years, no evidence of injury has been substantiated. As with most medications, children can have a reaction to any vaccine, but it’s critical to know the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the side effects.
Most vaccines are given in a series and largely completed by age of six. And it’s not unusual for the inoculations to be given in combination. Your child’s provider will keep records of the immunization, but you as the parent also need to keep a detailed log of your child’s shots. Staff and doctors change, and records can get lost. You, and then your child, is ultimately responsible for keeping track of your child’s immunizations for life.
It may be a good idea to ask your child’s provider for an immunization record form. Your child’s immunization records are as valuable as a birth certificate and should be kept with other essential documents.
A LIST OF RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS
By age two, your child should have the following vaccinations:
- One shot for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
- A series of four vaccinations for Haemophilus influenza (Hib)
- A series of three to four polio vaccinations (IPV)
- A series of four vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT)
- A series of three vaccinations for hepatitis B
- If your child has not contracted chickenpox by one year of age, a one-shot vaccination will be recommended at that time
- A series of three vaccinations for rotavirus
- A series of four vaccinations for pneumococcal disease, to prevent ear infections and pneumonia
- Booster shots will be given at age four to six years of age
Minor swelling at the site of the injection is a common side effect. Additional expected side effects include soreness and fever.
- Ask your doctor about an immunization registry. This is a redundant online safe box for keeping immunization records.
- Many doctors provide a reminder call system to help you remain on track with your child’s immunization schedule.
- Be sure to have your doctor sign your child’s immunization form at each visit.
In summary, vaccines are among the safest and most effective tools of modern medicine. Through effective vaccines, we have crippled many dangerous childhood diseases and eradicated others. See your doctor if your child needs inoculations.
Visit this website to learn what vaccinations are required for your child to enter grade school in North Carolina: immunization.dph.ncdhhs.gov/schools/k-12.htm
If you have a healthcare topic of interest or a question, send me a note at Michelle.Fortune@slhnc.org.