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Understanding the Vaccine Schedule

When it comes to vaccines, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. As a parent, you want the best for your child, but it can be difficult to know what to do or where to turn. The bottom line is this: Vaccines work. They’re safe, and they prevent millions of illnesses and deaths around the world.

The current vaccine schedule used in the United States comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), through their Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. 

Dr. Smita Tandon and the pediatric specialists at Dr 2 Kids specialize in childhood vaccinations. They advise their patients that routine immunizations are perhaps the most important preventive care service that any parent can provide for their children. Even during COVID-19 and physical distancing, CDC, AAP, and all your doctors still recommend getting your child's vaccines on time. The team at Dr 2 Kids has implemented procedures to keep you and your child as safe as possible during your visit.

In this guide, we cover the importance of vaccinations and what the vaccine schedule is so you can take an active role in keeping your child’s health on track.

The importance of vaccinations

The absence of widespread childhood diseases in the United States is something that’s taken for granted by many today. Yet, as little as 100 years ago, infectious diseases, such as polio, crippled or killed many children. As the average life expectancy increased, it wasn’t due to people living longer as much as it was that fewer children were dying in their earliest years.

Why vaccines work

Survivors of a particular infectious disease carry antibodies that naturally protect them from getting sick again from the same disease. This demonstrates that your body can “learn” about disease mechanisms and guard against them in the future. This is the guiding principle behind immunizations.

When you’re exposed to an inactive version of an infectious disease, your body follows this same learning process and develops defenses against active versions. It’s that simple. For some diseases, a child may only need a single vaccine dose, while other diseases may require several doses to build up an immunity.

The CDC vaccine schedule

There’s not a single vaccine schedule, but rather three, and they cover your child from birth to adulthood. The age ranges for the schedules are:

Each schedule also has recommendations for various circumstances. For instance, there are vaccines recommended for everyone on certain timelines. Additionally, there are recommendations for children who miss certain vaccinations so they can catch up on immunization protection.

Some children may have elevated risks for certain diseases due to their health or lifestyles, and additional vaccines could help them avoid infection. There are even optional vaccines for children who are not at risk, but whose parents want extra protection.

The CDC provides an easy-to-read immunization schedule as well as more in-depth information about vaccines. Perhaps the best way to stay on top of your child’s vaccination schedule is through regular appointments with Smita Tandon, MD.

The CDC adds new vaccines to its recommendations from time to time, so Dr. Tandon and her team will help you stay on top of the changing immunization scene. To get the vaccines your child needs or to set up a schedule, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Smita Tandon, MD, today.

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