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When you have a new baby in the family, your primary concern as parents is keeping the little one safe and healthy. At this stage of life, you don’t have to worry about your child running into the street or getting lost in a grocery store. The larger, much more real concern is the invisible threat of different germs and viruses that the baby’s immune system has yet to build a tolerance against.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a vaccine schedule for people of all ages,” said Kristen Trom, D.O., primary care physician at Inspira Primary Care Mullica Hill. “However, many vaccines are recommended for babies between birth and age 2.”
What Do These Vaccines Protect My Baby From?
Vaccines protect people from everything ranging from polio to the common flu.
Here’s a list of the most common vaccines for a child to receive in their first two years, and what they protect against:
- HepB - Hepatitis B
- RV - Rotavirus
- DTaP - Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
- PCV - Pneumococcal disease
- IPV - Polio
- MMR - Measles, mumps and rubella
- Varicella - Chickenpox
How Important Are These Vaccines?
Breast milk can help to protect newborns from many diseases. However, this protection wears off over time. Vaccines protect children and adults from disease and help to build herd immunity, which stops the spread of disease and protects people who cannot get vaccines because of other health issues. By stimulating your child’s immune system to produce antibodies against an infection, vaccines act as a roadblock against dangerous diseases.
“As a baby is exposed to more places, they’re also exposed to more viruses, germs and other potentially harmful substances,” said Trom. “Contrary to some harmful myths, these vaccines will only strengthen a child’s immune system, and don’t cause other diseases.”
What’s A Vaccine Schedule?
Your child should receive vaccines according to the schedule recommended by the CDC, spaced out over the course of the baby’s first 24 months. Many vaccines given at this young age are given in separate doses.
“By administering the vaccination in doses, it gives the baby a prolonged exposure, allowing them to build a tolerance more gradually,” said Trom.