Posts Tagged ‘vaccinations’

Infant immunization week

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

2-play-matesThis year National Infant Immunization Week is from April 21-28. This annual observance is designed to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Because of vaccines, some crippling and deadly diseases, like polio, have been all but eliminated here, but they are still very present in other countries. Other diseases that were once gone from the U. S. are now returning. The largest measles outbreak in 15 years has hit the United States. Most people who have recently become sick with the measles have not been vaccinated. They caught the measles in Europe (which is in the middle of a major epidemic), and brought the disease back to this country.

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a disease caused by bacteria that leads to coughing and choking that can last for several weeks. Babies who catch pertussis can get very sick, and some may die. The number of pertussis cases in this country has more than doubled since 2000. This may be because protection from the childhood vaccine fades over time. In the last few years, there have been several large pertussis outbreaks. Outbreaks are common in places like schools and hospitals. The disease spreads easily from person to person, usually by coughing or sneezing. Most infants who get pertussis catch it from someone in their family, often a parent.

All new parents need the pertussis vaccine. Until your baby gets her first pertussis shot at 2 months, the best way to protect her is for you to get the adult vaccine before pregnancy or soon after you have your baby. The vaccine prevents you from getting pertussis and passing it along to your baby. Caregivers, close friends and relatives who spend time with your baby, including grandparents, should get vaccinated, too.

To learn more about vaccines and to review the current recommended schedule for childhood vaccines, click on this link.

Experts say pregnant women should get whooping cough vaccine

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

There’s been yet another outbreak of pertussis  (whooping cough), this time in New York. In light of recent whooping cough outbreaks, an advisory panel for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that pregnant women get the whooping cough vaccine.

It used to be that pregnant women were told to wait until after birth to get the pertussis vaccine. But the panel of experts says that by getting vaccinated during pregnancy, you can pass your antibodies (cells in the body that fight off infection) to your baby. This helps protect your baby from pertussis after he’s born and until he gets his pertussis vaccines. And with all of the pertussis outbreaks, your baby can use as much protection as he can get.

CDC will look into the advisory panel’s recommendation before changing its official vaccination guidelines, but it usually goes along with the panel’s advice. Check back with News Moms Need for updates on this issue. In the meantime, learn more about vaccinations during pregnancy and vaccinations for your baby.

Get your vaccinations before summer travel

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

family-at-the-beachAfter a very rough winter and a rainy spring, summer is finally here! In a few weeks, my husband, my baby girl and I (with Lola in tow) will be traveling and heading to the beach for a couple of weeks. My baby girl just had her well baby visit this week, so she’s up to date on all of her vaccines and is ready to travel.

Summer is a great time to make sure your family’s vaccinations are up to date, especially this year. There’s been a recent outbreak of measles (an infection caused by a virus) in this country – the largest measles outbreak in 15 years. Most people who recently caught the measles were not vaccinated. They caught the measles in Europe (which is the middle of a major epidemic) and brought the disease back to the U.S.

Measles is easily spread and causes rash, cough and fever. In some cases, it can lead to diarrhea, ear infection, pneumonia, brain damage or even death. Measles can cause serious health problems in young children. It can also be especially harmful to pregnant women and can cause miscarriage.

Talk to your provider to find out if your and your family’s vaccines are up to date, especially when it comes to the measles. If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, wait 1 month before trying to get pregnant after getting the measles vaccine (MMR, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella). If you’re already pregnant, you’ll need to wait until after giving birth to get the vaccine.

If you’re  traveling out of the country with your baby and she’s 6-11 months old, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that she get her first shot of the MMR vaccine before traveling. If your baby is 12-15 months, then she should get two shots (separated by 28 days) before traveling.

Mumps outbreak

Friday, November 20th, 2009

When was the last time you ever heard of someone getting the mumps? While most of us can say it’s been a while (if not, never), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting the largest outbreak of mumps in three years. Most of these outbreaks took place in New York and New Jersey.

Friendly reminder – the best way to protect kids from getting the mumps is by getting kids vaccinated. The combination measles-mumps-rubella immunization helps protect kids against these illnesses, which are less common thanks to the large number of kids and people who’ve been vaccinated over the years. Women who aren’t sure if they’ve been vaccinated against the mumps can also talk to their health providers about getting this vaccine before getting pregnant (this vaccine cannot be given during pregnancy). It’s important that the immunization rates in our population stay at high levels to avoid the opportunity for this and other diseases to return with full force.

Learn more about other important immunizations for your child.

A handy childhood immunization scheduler

Friday, July 31st, 2009

My newest granddaughter was born on April 6th.  J  My daughter and I were talking about getting her vaccinated against all sorts of diseases and what the current recommended schedule is these days.  I found the recommended vaccination schedule on the CDC website,  but I also found a really neat tool to help figure out the dates for your own baby’s schedule.  You enter your child’s date of birth, and a personalized schedule appears, complete with dates.  Check it out.

If you’re the type of mom who would prefer to set a schedule that uses more individual vaccinations and less combination shots, read my previous post  and talk with your child’s provider.

Lessen baby’s pain during vaccines

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

crying-babyTo me, there’s nothing more heartbreaking than hearing a baby cry from being hurt.  Whenever I’m at the doctor’s office and I hear a baby crying from an examination room down the hall, I can usually guess what happened – time for baby’s vaccine shots.  Some vaccine shots are more painful than others, but they all are important in helping a baby stay healthy.

The New York Times recently reported on a study showing that it might be possible to lower a baby’s pain by switching the order of the DPTaP-Hib vaccine (diphtheria, polio, pertussis, tetanus and Haemophilus influenzae Type B) and the PCV vaccine (pneumococcal disease). Most babies receive the DPTaP-Hib and PCV vaccines during the same health visit. The study, which appeared in this month’s issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that babies who got the DPTaP-Hib vaccine first experienced less pain than those that got the PCV vaccine first. The researchers found that if the PCV vaccine (the more painful of the two) was given first, the baby was more likely to focus his attention on the situation at hand, which could make him more aware of the pain and could speed up his response to the hurt he feels. In other words, a baby is already hurting from the PCV vaccine, which can make him more sensitive to the less painful DPTaP-Hib vaccine.

Keep in mind that this study is very small, so we don’t know anything for sure. But since a baby usually gets both vaccines on the same health visit, it wouldn’t hurt (no pun intended) to talk to your baby’s provider about giving the DPTaP-Hib vaccine shot first, followed by the PCV vaccine. The March of Dimes article on vaccines has more information.

Vaccines before pregnancy

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

At a checkup before pregnancy, your provider can do a blood test to find out if you’re immune to certain illnesses such as rubella (German measles) and chickenpox. If you’re not, you can safely be vaccinated before pregnancy. After you’re vaccinated, you should wait for one month before trying to conceive. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend these vaccines during pregnancy.

A while back I wrote a post about my “before-baby” check up. I discovered that my immunity to chickenpox was borderline so I received a booster. I always assumed I was immune because I had the chicken pox as a kid. I’m so glad I got that shot! A few months later I was exposed to a friend’s daughter who had the illness and I was newly pregnant.

Whooping Cough Vaccine for New Moms

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

vaccineLast month, my girlfriend had a new baby boy named Sebastian. The first and only time I’ve seen him is when he was just one day old. In the last few weeks, both my husband and I have been hit by a winter cold and bronchitis. And we certainly don’t want to be around a new baby if we’re feeling under the weather.

Newborns are most vulnerable to illnesses during their first few weeks of life. That’s because their little bodies have yet to build up their immune system so that they can fight off infections and diseases.

Whooping cough, an illness that is most dangerous to babies and young children, is on the rise. Most babies won’t get their whooping cough vaccine until they are about 2 months old.

A new study in today’s journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology finds that almost half of all babies with whooping cough actually get it from their parents. Moms and dads may not even know they have whooping cough and may simply think they’ve got a bad cough.

If you’re a new mom and want to protect your baby from whooping cough, consider getting yourself the whooping cough vaccine. Your partner should also think about getting one. If you’re expecting, talk to your health provider about other vaccines to get during your pregnancy. By protecting your body from illnesses, you can better protect your baby.

New study: No connection between MMR vaccine and autism

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

I don’t like to see children cry when they get their vaccinations. But the truth is, those shots can be life-saving.

A new study provides more evidence that there is no connection between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and an increased risk of autism. Researchers from Columbia University, Harvard University and other institutions published their findings in the online journal PLoS ONE.

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine reviewed all medical research about a possible link between autism, the MMR vaccine, and vaccines containing a preservative called thimerosol. The institute concluded that there was no connection.

But some people are still concerned and won’t let their children be vaccinated. This latest study should help reassure both parents and health care providers. For the safety of your children, get them vaccinated.

To learn more, read the articles Vaccinations and Autism on the March of Dimes Web site.

Vaccinations and immunizations

Friday, August 29th, 2008

As you know, this is National Immunization Month.  We’ve told you about the importance of getting your child vaccinated against different diseases to protect him and to protect everyone.

I totally understand those of you who don’t want to load up your baby with large combination shots, even though they are safe.  My daughter felt that way and said to me, “If there is a reaction to the shot, how will you know what she is reacting to?”  What she decided to do was discuss her concerns with the pediatrician and to create a vaccination schedule for her daughter that made Mom feel better.  The pediatrician, willing to work with her, pointed out that it would mean more injections for the baby.  While she didn’t love the idea of extra sticks, my daughter felt more comfortable with the smaller, single doses.  So that’s the route they took and my granddaughter, at the age of three, is up to date with all her immunizations.

The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. So if you have concerns, speak with your child’s doctor about adapting a schedule that works for you, too.  Read the current immunization schedule recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  When vaccinated, children are protected against very serious, life-threatening diseases, so make sure you get it done.