Immunization Schedule, Children
Why Vaccinations Are Important
Vaccinations are some of the most important tools available for preventing disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccinations not only protect children from developing a potentially serious disease but also protect the community by reducing the spread of infectious disease.
Diseases spread from person to person. If enough people are immunized, the disease may not be transmitted through a population, thus protecting everyone. Diseases such as smallpox and polio have nearly disappeared because of immunization.
Most children get all their shots during childhood. A community awareness campaign called Every Child by Two urges parents to make sure their children are protected against some of the diseases of childhood before the child reaches 2 years of age.
Parents should consult their doctors about which vaccines their children should have and when. Keep track of your children's immunizations yourself. You will be asked for these records when the child enrolls in school and throughout the child's school career.
Childhood shots can be distressing for parents. Information explaining what parents can do before, during, and after shots is available from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and state health organizations.
Every year, the AAP, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) issue a recommended childhood immunization schedule. This schedule is published in January of each year. Changes may be made during the year if necessary.
The CDC publishes the most current childhood immunization schedule. For more information, see the childhood immunization schedule from the CDC.
Changes in the 2007 childhood immunization schedule include the following:
The vaccines discussed in this article are recommended for children.
Randy P Prescilla, MD
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