How To Make Sure Your Child’s Vaccinations Are Up To Date

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At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we strongly believe in the importance of immunizations and fully advise giving your child all recommended vaccines from birth until age 18. Short of basic sanitation and nutrition, no medical intervention has done more to save lives and prevent disease than immunizations.

Most vaccine-preventable diseases are spread from person to person. When a person has been vaccinated for a particular disease, he/she is then immune to that disease and can’t infect others. The greater number of people who are vaccinated, the fewer opportunities a disease has to spread.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends immunizations

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) officially recommends immunizations as the safest and most cost-effective way of preventing disease, disability and death. The AAP urges parents to immunize their children against childhood diseases and believes that it is always better to prevent a disease than to have to treat it or live with the consequences of contracting it.

Are vaccinations safe?

Lauren Adler_02R WEB72

Lauren Adler, MD, FAAP

Yes, absolutely. Before being approved, all vaccines must be tested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA will not let a vaccine be given unless it has been proven to be safe and to work well in children. Then the data is reviewed again by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians before a vaccine is officially recommended to be given to children. Also, the FDA monitors where and how vaccines are made. Laboratories manufacturing vaccines must be licensed and are regularly inspected. Also, each vaccine lot is safety-tested.

Vaccinations DO NOT cause autism

In 1998, a British researcher named Andrew Wakefield published a fraudulent research paper proposing a hypothetical link between the MMR vaccine and autism, a link that has long-since been thoroughly debunked. (Because a number of parents believed this now-discredited theory and chose not to immunize their children, an outbreak of measles occurred and many children died.)

Over the last two decades, extensive research has studied whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: vaccines do not cause autism—all the more reason why at Westchester Health Pediatrics, we strongly advise immunizing your child.

The tests and screenings we recommend

1) Weight check—within 48 hours after discharge from hospital

2) 6 well-baby visits, birth-9 months—at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 months

3) 5 well-baby visits, 1-3 years old—at 12, 15, 18, 24 and 30 months

4) Well-baby visits, after 3 years old—annually

5) Hearing and vision tests—annually starting at age 4

6) Routine blood tests and lead test—at 1 and 2 years

7) Routine blood tests—at 10 and 18 years old, earlier if a family history

8) Screening for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)—annually

9) HIV testing is available

10) Autism screening—at 18 and 24 months

11) Depression screening—annually starting at age 12

12) Screening for alcohol and drug abuse—annually starting at age 12

13) Tuberculosis testing—as needed

14) Vitamin D, insulin and glucose testing—as needed

15) Urinalysis—at 10 and 18 years

 

Our recommended vaccination schedule

1) Given in hospital nursery—Hepatitis B: 1st vaccine

2) At 1 month—Hepatitis B: 2nd vaccine

3) At 2 months—Pentacel (combination vaccine), Prevnar (pneumococcal disease) and Rotateq (rotavirus): 1st vaccine

4) At 4 months—Pentacel, Prevnar and Rotateq: 2nd vaccine

5) At 6 months—Pentacel, Prevnar and Rotateq: 3rd vaccine

6) At 9 months—Hepatitis B: 3rd vaccine

7) At 12 months—MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and Varivax (chicken pox)

8) At 15 months—Pentacel and Prevnar: 4th vaccine

9) At 18 months—Hepatitis A: 1st vaccine

10) At 24 months—Hepatitis A: 2nd vaccine

11) Between 11 and 12 years old—Menactra (meningitis A, C, W and Y vaccine)

12) Between 11 and 12 years old—Gardasil (HPV vaccine)

13) Between 10 and 11 years old—Adacel (tetanus)

14) Between 10 and 25 years old—Bexsero (meningitis B vaccine)

Resources for you to learn more about the importance of immunizations:

Come in and talk with us; we’re here to help

If you have questions about immunizing your child, or about any aspect of your child’s health, please come in and see us. We’re here for you, whenever and wherever you need us.

Make an appt

By Lauren Adler, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with Westchester Health Pediatrics.

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About the Author: ML Ball