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Even most new mom’s know that their baby will be receiving a lot of shots during the next couple of years at their well-checks. But even most of the experienced mothers don’t know what each vaccine is specifically, and in many cases what it is used for. We thought we would break it down for you.

immunizations.jpgHep B
The Hep B vaccine, given at birth and intermittently throughout the first year of life is a vaccine used to fight the Hepatitis B virus. The virus affects the live and travels through blood and other bodily fluids. Since a baby is fed through the umbilical cord and is in contact with his mother’s blood during birth, this vaccine is generally given as early as possible.

The DTaP vaccine stands for Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis. Diphtheria is a serious disease which can cause death by blocking a person’s airway, pneumonia, heart failure, and the paralysis of muscles in the throat. Tetanus is caused by toxin-producing spores that live in soil and feces of animals and humans. It is not contagious, but is often transmitted by a person stepping on a sharp object, animal bites and abrasions. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial infection that causes a person to cough. It can make it hard to eat, talk and even breathe. It gets its’ name from a “whooping” sound that a child might make when trying to breathe in after several coughs.

The Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine is a bacterium virus that can affect the outer layers of the brain and lead to meningitis. In some cases, meningitis can be fatal. It is spread from coughing and sneezing and is normally seen during the first year of life, however it can be found up till age five. It is uncommon for doctors to see cases of Hib after the age of five.

The influenza vaccine is put out every year to help protect millions of infants, children, elderly and those at high risk of getting the flu and getting sick avoid the dreaded virus. It is normally released during the fall or early winter and is available, although sometimes in limited quantities through the spring. It is suggested that all children ages 6-23 months receive the vaccine.

The vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella is a common vaccine for an infant to receive to help protect them against these three viruses. Measles is a serious disease that is contagious and can cause a brain infection in one out of every 1000 cases, leading to brain damage. The mumps is passed through coughing and sneezing and leads to the swelling of the salivary glands. This can lead to temporary and in some cases permanent deafness. Rubella is also transmitted through coughing and sneezing but it is usually a mild illness. In the worst form it can cause temporary arthritis and pain.

The long name for it is the Polio Vaccine Inactivated and it is a very important vaccine for your infant to get. Getting the polio vaccine helps prevent the occurrence of polio in your child. Polio can lead too sore throat, fever, nausea and vomiting. In severe cases it can lead to permanent paralysis. It is spread through stool and saliva which makes it very contagious, hence the reason it is so important to get the vaccine.

Also known as the chicken pox vaccine the Varicella vaccine is another vaccine that is relatively new, but has cut down on many missed school days for children. A very contagious virus, chicken pox, used to affect thousands of children a year. When an adult contracted chicken pox, it proved to be even more dangerous. Rarely chicken pox could cause pneumonia or become fatal. The new vaccine, given at the age of one is meant to help cut down and hopefully, eventually get rid of the chicken pox vaccine in much of the world within the next couple of decades, much like the IVP vaccine did for polio.

These are the most common vaccines that your infant will be receiving at their well-checks. For the full list of recommended vaccines and ages they should be given see this Infant Immunization Schedule.

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[…] all they are putting two holes into your baby. However it can be compared to your baby getting his immunizations in the leg. Some people might say that it hurts less because ears are pierced through skin in the […]

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