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Baby Shots & Vaccination Schedule

Published October 08, 2013        by Sarah

Newborn BabyVaccines are an important way to keep your child healthy in the years to come. Understanding what shots your child needs, though, and when he needs them can be a bit complicated. While you should always use your pediatrician as your guide, this quick overview may be helpful.

Birth – Your baby should be administered the first dose of the Hepatitis B (or HepB) vaccine.

Two Months – Your baby will need the second dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine, the first dose of the Rotavirus vaccine, the first dose of the Diptheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, the first dose of the Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine, the Pneumococcal vaccine, and the Inactivated poliovirus vaccine.

Four Months – Baby needs the second dose of the Rotavirus vaccine, the second dose of the DTaP vaccine, the second dose of the dose of the Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine, the second dose of the Pneumococcal vaccine, and the second dose of the Inactivated poliovirus vaccine.

Six Months – Baby will need the third dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine, the third dose of the Rotavirus vaccine, the third dose of the DTaP vaccine, the third dose of the dose of the Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine, the third dose of the Pneumococcal vaccine, and the third dose of the Inactivated poliovirus vaccine. Baby can also start getting a flu shot each year during flu season at this age.

Sweet ShotTwelve Months – Baby will need the final does of the Haemophilus influenza type b vaccine, and the Pneumococcal vaccine. Baby will also need a dose of the Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR), a dose of the varicella (or Chicken Pox) vaccine, and a dose of the Hepatitis A vaccine.

Fifteen Months – If your baby has stayed on schedule, no new shots will be needed at this checkup.

Eighteen Months – Baby will need the final dose of the Hepatitis A vaccine.

Keep in mind that there are lots of vaccines that can be administered at different times. This schedule simply represents the earliest possible time for each vaccination to occur. For example, with Hepatitis B, a shot has to be administered at birth, the second can be administered at one or two months, and the final one can be administered anywhere between six and eighteen months.

There are also a number of alternate vaccine schedules available, the most notable one being suggested by Dr. Robert Sears. It’s widely used by parents who are concerned about the number of shots children receive at a given time and those who are worried about vaccine side effects. While Sears suggests this helps get more kids protected, officials suggest that the approach means kids are more at risk for longer time periods, creating a public health crisis. What’s more, though, is that alternative vaccine schedules haven’t been as carefully studied as traditional ones. They do, though, only expose kids to two vaccines at a time and spread those vaccines out over the first five to six years.

What may be right for your child is a conversation you should have with your pediatrician. And don't forget to bring along your baby teddy bear for some extra comfort at a not-so-fun time.