When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
Serious reactions to vaccines are very rare. Call your healthcare provider or public health office if your child has unusual symptoms after vaccination.
Unusual symptoms may include:
- a fever above 40Â°C
- crying or fussing for more than 24 hours
- worsening swelling where the needle went in and/or
- unusual sleepiness.
You know your child best. If you notice anything that is not normal after a vaccination, check with your healthcare provider.
Are The Vaccines Safe
Yes. Vaccines for childhood diseases are very safe. Sometimes, a vaccine will cause mild side effects like a sore arm/leg or low fever. A bad side effect is not likely to happen. Childhood diseases are a greater health risk to children than the vaccines. Ask your healthcare provider to tell you about risks and side effects.
Children In Licensed Daycare Centres
If you want your child to attend daycare, and decide not to vaccinate them due to medical, religious or philosophical reasons, you will need to give your daycare a valid written exemption. If the disease appears in your childs daycare centre, your child may have to stay out of daycare until the disease is no longer present.
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Vaccines Given At Birth
Hepatitis B Vaccine is given before taking your baby home from the hospital. Hepatitis B can cause slow, persistent liver damage in a child. The virus, found in blood and body fluids, can last on a surface for up to a month. Doctors recommend this vaccine for all babies as a preventative to liver disease and cancer from the virus.
What Is The Link Between Vaccines And Sids
Recommendations were developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome and other sleep-related deaths in infants up to 12 months old. AAP says that making sure your child is fully immunized can help reduce the risk for SIDS. No evidence has been found linking vaccines as a cause of SIDS.
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Haemophilus Influenzae Type B And Pneumococcus
Although these vaccines are not given together, both protect against bacteria that can make children younger than 2 years of age very sick with meningitis , pneumonia, or bloodstream infections. Young babies have a limited ability to make antibody responses to bacteria like Haemophilus influenzae type b , pneumococcus, and meningococcus.
Hib and pneumococcus were the most frequent causes of severe illness in young children before vaccines were available. Because of the limitations of making an immune response against them, vaccine technology had to be developed that could overcome this. Researchers found a solution by adding a harmless protein, called a conjugate protein, to the parts of the bacteria that cause disease. Healthcare providers were ecstatic when they had a way to protect babies from the illnesses caused by these two diseases.
Because meningococcus does not occur as frequently, only babies considered to be at highest risk typically receive a meningococcal vaccine in infancy.
How Do I Keep Track Of My Child’s Vaccination
You will be given a vaccination record with your child’s recommended schedule at your first clinic visit. If your healthcare provider forgets, be sure to ask for one. It is important to bring this record with you every time you visit a healthcare provider. This is to make sure that it can be updated each time your child receives a vaccine.
You might find it helpful to use the checklist at the back of this guide, or download the CANImmunize mobile app to help you keep track of your family’s vaccinations.
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What Is The Immune System
The immune system is a special network in the body that protects you from germs, like bacteria and viruses that cause diseases. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system learns how to recognize germs in order to fight them if your child is exposed to them in the future.
Your child is exposed to thousands of germs daily at home, at daycare or in the grocery store. Even a sweet kiss from a brother or sister can be full of germs. Most of these germs are harmless and are easily handled by your child’s immune system. But some germs can make your child very sick.
Thanks to vaccination, your child’s immune system learns how to recognize harmful germs. Vaccines help your child to develop the necessary defences to fight disease, and to stay healthy!
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When Should My Child Get Immunized
Children should get immunized during their first two years of life. Your child may need several doses of the vaccines to be fully protected. For example, healthcare providers recommend that children receive their first dose of MMR vaccination at 12 months of age or older and a second dose prior to elementary school entry . Children can get the vaccines at regularly scheduled well visits.
Recommended age at which the vaccines should be received and type of vaccine*
*Certain vaccines can be given within a range of ages. This chart represents one recommended schedule. Your child’s pediatrician may follow different guidelines. Please consult with your child’s pediatrician for specific recommendations.
**The influenza vaccine is given annually. The initial dose can be given as early as 6 months of age.
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Vaccines Given At Two Months
Hepatitis B Vaccine is given to your baby for the second time during the two month check-up.
DTaP Vaccine protects your baby from three life-threatening, toxin-releasing bacterial diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis . Often found in unsanitary conditions or from improper wound care, tetanus is a severe disease of the nerves that can cause the jaw to lock. Diphtheria affects breathing and the throat in small children and may cause nerve, heart, and kidney damage. Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that mostly affects babies under six months and causes coughing spells that can become severe and potentially deadly. Getting the vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy is also a great way to help prevent your infant from contracting pertussis.
Diphtheria Tetanus And Pertussis
These vaccines have been given in combination since the late 1940s. The version used for babies is referred to as DTaP. It made sense to put these vaccines together, reducing three shots to one, because they are made in the same way, and they protect against these diseases in a similar way.
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are each caused by bacteria that make people sick by producing harmful proteins, called toxins. These toxins act like poisons, causing illness. By using inactivated toxins, called toxoids, as the vaccine, people develop antibodies that protect them if they are infected.
Of these three diseases, a baby is most likely to be exposed to pertussis, and pertussis is also the most dangerous because it causes a narrowing of the windpipes that makes it difficult for babies to get enough oxygen when they experience repeated bouts of coughing. Pertussis tends to be under-diagnosed in older children and adults, who frequently transmit it to babies. Unfortunately, of these three vaccines, pertussis is also the one that is least effective. Nonetheless, those immunized with pertussis vaccine are seven times less likely to be infected during an outbreak than those who arent immunized.
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Importance Of Vaccines For Infant And Toddlers
For newborns, breast milk can help protect against many diseases. However, this immunity wears off after breastfeeding is over, and some children arent breastfed at all.
Whether or not children are breastfed, vaccines can help protect them from disease. Vaccines can also help prevent the spread of disease through the rest of the population through herd immunity.
Vaccines work by imitating infection of a certain disease in your childs body. This prompts your childs immune system to develop weapons called antibodies.
These antibodies fight the disease that the vaccine is meant to prevent. With their body now primed to make antibodies, your childs immune system can defeat future infection from the disease. Its an amazing feat.
Haemophilus B Conjugate Vaccine
- Brand Names: ActHIB, Hiberix, PedvaxHIB
- What it’s for: Prevents Haemophilus influenzae type b invasive disease. Before the availability of Hib vaccines, Hib disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children under 5 years of age in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord, which can lead to lasting brain damage and deafness. Hib disease can also cause pneumonia, severe swelling in the throat, infections of the blood, joints, bones, and tissue covering of the heart, as well as death. Both ActHIB and PedvaxHIB are approved for infants and children beginning at 2 months. ActHIB can be given through 5 years of age and PedvaxHIB can be given through 71 months of age Hiberix is approved for children 6 weeks through the age of 4 .
- Common side effects may include: Fussiness, sleepiness, and soreness, swelling and redness at the injection site.
- Tell your healthcare provider beforehand if: The child is moderately or severely ill, or has ever had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of Hib vaccine.
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Your Babys First Shot
Shortly after birth, your baby should receive the first dose of the vaccine to help protect against the following disease:
All babies should get the first shot of hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of birth.
This shot reduces the risk of your baby getting the disease from you or family members who may not know they are infected with hepatitis B.
If you have hepatitis B, your baby should get the first shot of hepatitis vaccine within 12 hours of birth. Theres additional medicine that can help protect your newborn against hepatitis B its called hepatitis B immune globin . HBIG gives your babys body extra help to fight the virus as soon as your baby is born.
How The Vaccines Are Studied And Tested For Children And Youth
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were tested in youth through clinical trials. The Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine was also tested in children. These clinical trials compared the immune response, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine to a placebo. In these studies:
- no safety issues were detected
- the vaccine provided very good protection against COVID-19 in the couple months after vaccination
Learn more about:
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When Parents Choose Not To Vaccinate: Risks And Responsibilities
Parents are responsible for their childs health and well-being, including protecting them from vaccine-preventable diseases. The Canadian Paediatric Society urges all children to receive routine vaccinations and an annual influenza vaccine, unless there is a medical reason not to.
If you choose not to vaccinate your child you should understand the risks. You need to know how to make it less likely that your child gets an infection or spreads disease to others.
What If We Missed A Shot
Life with young children can be very busy. You may not be able to make every vaccination appointment for your child. But it is important to get back on schedule.
You should book an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. They can help you figure out what vaccines your child has already had and which ones are needed.
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Why Vaccines Are Safe
All vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child.
It often takes many years for a vaccine to make it through the trials and tests it needs to pass for approval.
Once a vaccine is being used in the UK it’s also monitored for any rare side effects by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency .
Anyone can report a suspected side effect of vaccination to the MHRA through the Yellow Card Scheme.
There are very few people who cannot have vaccines.
Generally, vaccines are only not suitable for:
- people who’ve ad a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine
- people who’ve had a serious allergic reaction to ingredients in the vaccine
People with weakened immune systems may also not be able to have some vaccines.
If you’re not sure if you or your child can be vaccinated, check with a GP, practice nurse, health visitor or pharmacist.
Dr Robert W Sears: Why Partial Vaccinations May Be An Answer
Robert W. Sears is a practicing pediatrician and the co-author of several parenting books, including The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on Jan. 7, 2010. It was originally published on April 27, 2010.
Relate your first encounter with an anti-vaccine book with the DTP vaccine.
I got interested in the topic of vaccines way back in medical school. A friend of mine convinced me to read a book about vaccines, and it ended up being a very anti-vaccine book. It was all about an old vaccine called the DTP vaccine that we dont use anymore. But the book talked a lot about the risks and the dangers of that vaccine. The author of that book was calling for that vaccine to no longer be used.
A number of years later, it turns out that they did discover that vaccine was causing a lot of very severe, life-threatening, even fatal side effects, so they did end up taking that vaccine off the market.
So it kind of opened my eyes to the fact that there are some very severe, fortunately very rare, side effects to vaccines, and I wanted to learn more about this issue. I started reading a lot more books.
How were your patients attitudes toward vaccines changing?
Describe your alternative vaccine schedule versus the CDC schedule.
Whats next down the list?
The safety profile of the CDC schedule is thoroughly tested and vetted. Is yours?
Are you saying the science isnt enough to convince parents?
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Diphtheria Tetanus And Pertussis Vaccine
This is a combination vaccine for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. Diphtheria is a throat infection the bacteria generates a toxin that can cause serious neurologic or cardiac symptoms. Tetanus is a bacterial infection caused by contact with the bacteria which is often found in dirt and can contaminate metal and other objects exposed to the elements. The infection secretes a toxin which causes severe muscle contraction, giving it the nickname lockjaw because of its effect on the jaw muscles. Pertussis is a severe respiratory infection that is very contagious and is particularly severe in children under a year of age. In this age group, it can lead to apnea and death. The vaccine is typically given at two, four, six and 15 to 18 months. A booster is given at age five. Tdap, a slightly modified version of the DTaP vaccine, is given after age 11 years in preparation for middle school, and every 10 years thereafter. Because of the severity of pertussis disease in infants and very young children, parents and caretakers of newborns should also get Tdap.
What’s The Difference Between A Live Or Killed Vaccine
Live and killed vaccine comparison
|Contain viruses or bacteria that have been weakened||Contain viruses or bacteria that have been destroyed|
|Cannot be given to people with a weakened immune system||Can still be given to people with a weakened immune system|
|Gives long-term protection||Often needs several doses or a booster vaccine for full protection|
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Should I Be Worried About The Increasing Number Of Vaccines Recommended For Children
No. Because of advances in science and manufacturing, it is easier than in the past to be sure that vaccines are highly pure. Vaccines represent only a minor stimulation of the infant immune system compared to the large number of potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses babies routinely encounter: starting immediately after a baby is born thousands of different bacteria begin to live on the skin and the lining of the nose, throat, and intestines. The babys immune system rapidly launches immune responses to these bacteria that prevent them from invading the blood stream.
Why Should I Vaccinate My Child At Such A Young Age
The vaccination schedule is designed to protect your child before they are exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases. Children are vaccinated early in life because they are vulnerable to diseases and the consequences can be very serious. But if vaccinated on time, your child has the most protection as early as possible.
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Gonorrhea And Chlamydia Test
Some Ob/Gyn practices recommend routine testing at 32 weeks for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Texas is among the states with the highest rate of these sexually transmitted diseases. You may not even know you have these diseases because they dont always present with symptoms. However, the diseases can be passed to the baby during delivery and can cause an infection called ophthalmia neonatorum that may lead to blindness.
If you have been in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, you may feel comfortable declining this test. There is a chance the test will return a false-positive result, meaning it may show you have one of these diseases when you actually dont. Remember this before you panic that your partner is cheating on you.
What If My Child Can’t Be Vaccinated
Some children cannot receive certain vaccines due to allergic reactions or other medical conditions. Because they can’t be vaccinated, they are at risk of getting diseases that the vaccine would have protected them from.
You can help protect your children by encouraging those around your child to be up to date with their vaccination. Diseases that may not seem serious to adults can be very harmful to vulnerable children.
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