Vaccination for Babies and Young Children
Vaccines gives parents the power to protect their children from serious diseases. One of the most important things a parent can do to protect her child's health is getting her child vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule.
Vaccines protect babies from 14 diseases by the time they reach 2 years of age. It is of utmost important that babies receive all doses of each vaccine and receive each vaccination on time. After 6 months of age, CDC recommends children receive a yearly flu vaccine.
Children 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time should get two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart.
Children are also due for additional doses of vaccine between 4 and 6 years of age. If a child falls behind the recommended immunization schedule, the child's doctor can still give vaccines to "catch up" the child before adolescence.
Child care facilities, preschool programs and schools should be aware that they are prone to disease outbreaks especially in certain seasons. Children in these settings can easily transmit illnesses to one another due to poor handwashing, not covering their coughs and sneezes, and other aspects related to interacting in crowded environments.
Parents ought to be informed that unvaccinated children are not only at increased risk for disease, but they can also spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classroom, and communities - including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people who might not be able to receive certain vaccines due to cancer or other health conditions. If you feel that your child is not feeling well, you should keep your child home and out of activities until the illness passes to avoid transmission of disease.