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Childhood Immunization Schedule

Why Vaccinations Are Important

Patient Comments

Vaccinations are some of the most important tools available for preventing disease. Vaccinations not only protect children from developing serious diseases but also protect the community by reducing the spread of infectious disease.

Infectious diseases spread from person to person. If enough people are immunized, the disease may not be transmitted through a population, thus protecting everyone. This concept is called "herd immunity." The concept is that the strongest (those immunized) protect the weakest (those not immunized). Diseases such as smallpox and polio have nearly disappeared because of immunization.

Children get many immunizations during childhood. A community awareness campaign called Every Child by Two urges parents to make sure their children are protected against 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.

The injection process for childhood vaccinations may sometimes 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.

Each January, 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. Changes may be made during the year if necessary.

The CDC annually publishes the most current childhood immunization schedule. For more information, see the CDC web site ( Listed below are the routine vaccinations recommended as of January 2016.

Last Reviewed 1/8/2018

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Childhood Immunization Schedule:

Childhood Immunization Schedule - Experience

Please describe your child's experience with childhood vaccines.

Helping Children During Immunizations

Infant (newborn to 12 months)

Your baby is less likely to be uncomfortable or upset after an immunization if he or she is not hungry or tired.

  • See that your baby has a good nap 2 to 4 hours before the immunization is given.
  • Feed your baby 1 to 2 hours before the immunization is to be given.

During and after the immunization, you can help your baby by providing gentle comfort and reassurance.

SOURCE: Healthwise

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