August is National Immunization Awareness Month
It’s always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs. That’s why vaccines are so important. When your baby gets on-time vaccinations, they protect your baby from serious childhood diseases and keep her healthy. Vaccinations protect your baby from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before his second birthday.
Because vaccines protect against diseases that aren’t common anymore, you may wonder why you need to vaccinate your baby. These diseases aren’t common in this country, but they still exist. For example, you may have heard about many new cases of measles in the United States. If people don’t get vaccinated, we will start seeing more people affected by diseases like measles. Measles is a disease that’s easily spread and may cause rash, cough and fever. Measles can cause serious problems, such as pneumonia and brain swelling.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (also called CDC) vaccination schedule shows each vaccine your child gets up to 6 years of age. It also shows how many doses she gets of each vaccine and when she needs to get them. Your child should get vaccinations and boosters regularly, all the way through age 18. Booster are needed because with some vaccines immunity decreases over time.
Follow our vaccination schedule based on the CDC recommendations.
What you need to know:
- All babies, including babies who spend time in the newborn intensive care unit (also called NICU), need vaccinations. Most premature and low-birthweight babies follow the same CDC vaccination schedule.
- Vaccines help protect your baby from harmful diseases and help prevent him from spreading diseases to others.
- Vaccines help your baby develop immunity. Immunity is protection from disease.
- Vaccines are very safe. They are carefully tested and checked by scientists and healthcare professionals before anyone can get them.
- Getting more than one shot at a time won’t harm your baby. Even as a newborn, your baby’s immune system can handle many shots at once.
For more information about your baby’s vaccinations, visit marchofdimes.org/babyvaccinations