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Immunization schedule/vaccinations

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:45 pm
After the birth of your child, your pediatrician or family physician will ask you to follow a specific routine of well-baby visits, which include immunizations, to protect against 10 major diseases. These are: polio; measles; mumps; chicken pox; rubella (roo-BELL-luh), which is German measles; pertussis (per-TUSS-sus), which is whooping cough; diphtheria (diff-THEER-ee-uh); tetanus (TET-nuss); haemophilius (hee-muh-FILL-ee-us) infections, also called 'Hib' (HIB); and Hepatitis B (hep-uh-TIE-tus Bee). Here's a timetable recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Between birth and two months, a child receives the first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine, and a second dose between two and four months. Later doses are between six and 18 months, with a final dose at age 11 or 12. Older children, adolescents, and adults who are at increased risk of contact also should be immunized. At the two-month checkup, your child should receive his first D-TaP (D-tap) vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, and four later injections. Polio is usually given at two, four, and 18 months, and again between ages four and six years. Between 12 and 15 months, a child receives a single shot known as an 'M-M-R' against mumps, measles, and rubella. A second M-M-R is now recommended around age 12. Chicken pox is suggested between 12 and 18 months of age. A new vaccine against infections caused by the bacteria commonly referred to as 'Hib' is for children beginning at age two months. Each of these vaccinations may cause various reactions and side effects, so make sure your pediatrician is aware ahead of time of any allergies you're aware your child has, and be alert for symptoms after vaccination. Keep in mind that the health risk of symptoms from vaccines is far less than the diseases the vaccines prevent.
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