With all the news about seasonal flu and the H1N1 pandemic flu, the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper understands that parents have many questions about vaccines for their child. We encourage parents and children alike to get the seasonal flu vaccine and watch for recommendations regarding the H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine when they become available.
As of September 21, 2009, the CDC is recommending that all children and young adults from 6 months through 24 years of age be immunized. Children from 6 months through 18 years of age because cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza have been seen in children who are in close contact with each other in school and day care settings, which increases the likelihood of disease spread. Young adults 19 through 24 years of age because many cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza have been seen in these healthy young adults. They often live, work, and study in close proximity and they are a frequently mobile population.
There are other important vaccines which children should receive as they grow up. Immunizations have helped children stay healthy for more than 50 years. Yet many parents still question their safety because of misinformation they receive. That’s why it’s important to turn to a reliable and trusted source, including your pediatrician, for information.
Immunizations are safe and they work. In fact, serious side effects are no more common than those from other types of medication. Vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90 percent! Millions of children have been protected against serious illnesses because they were immunized. Most childhood vaccines are 90 percent to 99 percent effective in preventing disease. And if a vaccinated child does get the disease, the symptoms are usually milder with less serious side effects or complications than in a child who hasn’t been vaccinated.
Here is a list of the recommended immunizations for children from newborns to 18 years of age.
Recommended Immunizations for Children Newborn to 6 years old:
- Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB). (Minimum age: birth)
- Rotavirus vaccine (RV). (Minimum age: 6 weeks)
- Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP). (Minimum age: 6 weeks)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib). (Minimum age: 6 weeks)
- Pneumococcal vaccine. (Minimum age: 6 weeks for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine [PCV]; 2 years for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine [PPSV])
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). (Minimum age: 2 months)
- Influenza vaccine. (Minimum age: 6 months for trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine [TIV]; 2 years for live, attenuated influenza vaccine [LAIV])
- Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR). (Minimum age: 12 months)
- Varicella vaccine. (Minimum age: 12 months)
- Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA). (Minimum age: 12 months)
- Meningococcal vaccine. (Minimum age: 2 years for meningococcal conjugate vaccine [MCV] and for meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine [MPSV])
Recommended Immunizations for Ages 7 Through 18 Years:
- Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap). (Minimum age: 10 years for BOOSTRIX® and 11 years for ADACEL®)
- Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV). (Females minimum age: 9 years)
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV).
- Influenza vaccine.
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV). (for children with certain underlying medical conditions)
- Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA).
- Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB).
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV).
- Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR).
- Varicella vaccine. (For ages 7 through 18 years without evidence of immunity)
To download a chart with the schedules of these recommended immunizations, visit www.aap.org/healthtopics/immunizations.cfm.