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Are Your Child's Vaccinations Up To Date?

Aug 02, 2023

Are Your Child's Vaccinations Up To Date?
Vaccinations help prevent serious illness by strengthening your child’s natural immunity. Keeping immunizations up to date helps your child stay healthy now and for the rest of their life. Here’s how to make sure their vaccine schedule is on track.

As a parent, keeping your child safe is what you do, and protecting your child from illness is just one more way you can pave the way to a healthier future. Making sure your child stays up to date with their immunizations gives their bodies the defense mechanism they need to fight off serious diseases. The key is knowing which vaccines your child needs and sticking to the recommended immunization schedule.

At Catalyst Medical Group, our providers offer comprehensive pediatric care, including a complete array of immunizations for kids (and adults, too) in Lewiston, Idaho. In this post, learn why vaccines are important and which vaccines are recommended for specific ages.

The important role of vaccines

When we’re born, we have a natural, “built-in” immunity that we get from our mothers while we’re still in the uterus. This inherent or innate immunity helps us stay healthy in the very early days of life — but it’s not enough to provide ongoing protection or to protect us from a wide array of germs.

Vaccines supplement that innate immunity, giving our bodies what it needs to identify germs and then fight them off to prevent serious infections. Vaccines work by promoting the production of antibodies, proteins specifically designed to fight off invading pathogens. Remember: it’s not the vaccine that’s fighting off the germs; instead, the vaccine teaches our bodies how to do it.

Since germs are different, that means we need different antibodies to fight off different germs. Consider germs to be like locks, and antibodies to be like keys. Just as every lock needs a unique key to open it, each germ is associated with a unique antibody. That’s why throughout our lifetime, we need many different vaccines.

Childhood vaccines give your child the tools he or she needs to prevent many illnesses that can cause disability or even death during the early years of life. Some vaccines offer a lifetime of protection, while other vaccines need periodic boosters to maintain their effect.

Recommended vaccination schedule

During the early years of life, your child will receive an array of vaccines along a recommended timeline based on their age and, in some cases, potential risks or exposures to disease. Our team recommends vaccines based on updated lists maintained by the CDC and other agencies and based on the most up-to-date research. 

According to the latest CDC recommendations, your child should receive the following vaccines from birth to age 15 months:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Pneumococcal conjugate
  • Inactivated poliovirus 
  • Measles, mumps, rubella 
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis A

From 18 months to 18 years of age, the CDC recommends boosters of some of the vaccines listed above, along with these vaccines:

  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap, over age 7)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal A and B

The influenza (flu) shot should be given annually beginning in the first year of life.

While the CDC recommends that most vaccines be given before a child’s second birthday, it’s important to note that it’s never too late for your child to “catch up” with a missed dose. Our team will review your child’s immunization records to ensure they have the protection they need to help them stay healthy.

Keep your child’s vaccines up to date

Vaccines are just one more way you can set the stage for a healthy future for your child. To make sure your child’s vaccines are up to date or to schedule a physical exam for your child, book an appointment over the phone with our team at Catalyst Medical Group today.