Vaccinate Your Baby On Time to Prevent Illness

Immunization is designed to protect your child early in life when they are most vulnerable to life-threatening diseases and not strong enough to fight the illness.

Christina Rust, DNP, MSN, RN, Education Specialist for Maternal Child Health at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, explains why immunization is so important for infants, “Your child isn’t born with an immune system that can protect them from most diseases. By following a vaccination schedule, you can protect your child from serious illness, possibly even death.”

St. Elizabeth Healthcare is partnering with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from April 21-28 in observance of National Infant Immunization Week in order to highlight the importance of protecting your child from preventable disease before their second birthday.

Following the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule will protect your baby from 14 preventable diseases:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diptheria
  • Haemophilus Influenza Type B
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whopping cough)
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus

Infant Vaccine Schedule

Being a new mom is overwhelming enough, without having to remember all of the necessary vaccinations. Your baby’s doctor will help you to make sure your baby stays up-to-date with their immunizations.

Babies receive some protection from their mother during the last few weeks of pregnancy but that protection doesn’t last, leaving your child vulnerable to illness. By following the schedule below, you are providing your baby immunity to these diseases before they are likely to be exposed to them.

AgeVaccine
BirthHepatitis B
2 monthsDTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
Hepatitis B
Polio
Hib - Haemophilus influenza type B
Pneumococcal (PCV13)
RV – Rotavirus
IPV - Polio
4 monthsDTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
Polio
Hib - Haemophilus influenza type B
Pneumococcal (PCV13)
RV – Rotavirus
IPV - Polio
6 monthsDTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
Hib - Haemophilus influenza type B
RV – Rotavirus
Pneumococcal (PCV13)
Influenza (annually starting at 6 months of age)
6-18 monthsHepatitis B
IPV - Polio
12-15 monthsHib - Haemophilus influenza type B
Pneumococcal (PCV13)
MMR – Measles, Mumps and Rubella
Varicella – Chicken Pox
Hepatitis A (2nd does 6-18 months later)
15-18 monthsDTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
4-6 yearsDTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis)
IPV - Polio
MMR – Measles, Mumps and Rubella
Varicella – Chicken Pox, Polio

If you are pregnant, it is recommended that you receive the whooping cough vaccine, or Tdap, during the third trimester to help protect your baby until he can receive his first whooping cough vaccine at 2 months. You should also encourage any other caregivers to get the Tdap vaccine at least two weeks before meeting your new baby. If you are considering getting pregnant, have your doctor check that you still have MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunity. It is also important for all family members to receive an influenza (flu) vaccine to protect themselves and their newborns.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare offers FREE Tdap vaccinations to women during pregnancy and after delivery, and to family members and caregivers of infants being delivered at St. Elizabeth. For more information, call (859) 301-2229.

If you can’t afford to vaccinate your child, the Center for Disease Control has a program that can help. Call toll free at (800) 232-4636 to find out where you can get free vaccinations for your child if you qualify.

If you have questions about the childhood immunization schedule, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse. For more information about vaccines, go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents.