Monday, April 6, 2009

Make sure that your babies are up-to-date with their shots

Below is a list of recommended vaccines to safeguard your tot against life threatening diseases for the first two years. Here is a rundown of most important vaccines your baby needs, as indicated in the most recent immunization program:


The Bacille Calmette-Guerin(BCG) vaccine, which prevents tuberculosis, is one of the first shots administered to newborns. It comes one in dose, ideally given at birth or within the first two months of life. If BCG is not given within the first 12 months, your child will be required to undergo a tuberculin skin test. If the results turn out negative, then BCG should be give immediately.


Short for hepatitis B, this vaccine prevents cirrhosis of the liver, chronic liver disease, and liver cancer causes by hepatitis B virus. The vaccines comes in three doses: the first dose is ideally given in 12 hours after birth, while the second and the third doses are given at age of 4 months and between 6 to 8 months of age, respectively.


The Diphtheria, Tetanus, and whole-cell or acellular pertussis vaccine(DTwP/DTaP) is a combination vaccine that fights three illnesses:

  • Diphtheria whose symptoms can start with simple sore throat, fever, and chills, If not treated early enough, can cause serious heart failure or paralysis.
  • Tetanus bacteria, which causes painful muscles spasms that can be strong enough to break children's bones. The bacteria can enter the body through skin through deep puncture wounds or burns, ear or tooth infections or animal bites.
  • Pertussis whooping cough, which may cause pneumonia and convulsions
This vaccines comes in three doses and two booster shots. The three doses are given to the baby at 2 months and 4 months, and 6 months of age. Two booster shots are given between 15 to 18 months of age and when the child is between ages 4 to 6 years. One booster shot for the tetanus bacteria is recommended between ages 7 to 14 years old.


The Oral or Inactive Polio Vaccine(OPV/IPV) fights a virus that causes permanent paralysis. It is given two doses at 2 moths, 4 months, and between 6 to 18 months of age respectively. A booster shot is given when the child is between ages 4 to 6 years.


The Measles, Mumps and Rubella(MMR) vaccine is given in two doses: first, when a child is 15 months of age, and the second, is when a child is between 4 to 6 years. It prevents the following illnesses:

  • Measles virus which contains rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever which can lead to ear infections, pneumonia, seizures and death.

  • Mumps causes inflammation of the salivary glands, which causes swelling of the cheeks and jaw.

  • Rubella causes rash and fever and poses a great risk for congenital Rubella Syndrome for unborn babies. When the mom acquires rubella in the early months of pregnancy, the disease may cause birth defects on the body such as deafness, blindness or damage heart and brain.

The Hib vaccine protects your child from the Haemophilus influenzae type-b bacteria, which may cause epiglottitis or severe swelling in the throat. making it harder to breathe, and bacterial meningitis which can cause lasting brain damage and deafness in your children. The Hib vaccine is given in three doses at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months of age. A booster shot is given between 15 months to age 2.


This vaccine is given in one dose when child is between 12 to 18 months of age to help him build immunity to chicken pox virus. If vaccine is given at age 13 or above, two doses should be given at 4 weeks apart.


Short for Hepatitis A, this vaccine prevents liver diseases caused by the Hepatitis A virus, which may lead to long-term liver damage or even liver failure. It comes in two doses, the first at age 1, and the second is between 6 to 18 months after the first dose.


The Influenza vaccine prevents Flu, a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract that may lead to ear infections, sinusitis, pneumonia and death. The virus change year-to-year so annual vaccination is recommended. For children ages 6 months to 8 years getting the vaccine for the first time, two dose are given at least a month apart. The annual dose is given between February and June.


This vaccine prevents fever caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi, and is given at age 2, with booster shots every three to five years. It is also recommended for frequent travelers to areas where there is high-risk exposure to the bacteria.


The new Pneumococcal Saccharide Conjugated Vaccine (PCV-7) protects againsts diseases caused by seven strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, such as pneumonia, blood infections and meningitis. The vaccine is given three doses at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and between 12 to 15 months of age, respectively.

The Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. One dose of PPV is recommended for high-risk children age 2 and older, with revaccination every five years. If PCV-7 is completed as scheduled, theres no need to give PPV to non high risk children.


The vaccine protects against the most common cause of diarrhea and dehydration in babies and young children. The first of two doses is given preferably at age of 4 months, and the second dose at least 4 weeks after the first.


The Meningococcal vaccine protects against meningococcal disease which causes meningitis and blood infections. It is recommended only during outbreaks and for high-risk children. One dose can be given at age 2 and can protect child up to five years.

Keep your child's immunization up-to-date to secure your child's health....