National Infant Immunization Week


Sunday, April 24 through Saturday, April 30 marks National Infant Immunization Week. It is a yearly observance acknowledging the importance of protecting children, age 2 and younger, from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Data from nationaltoday.com indicated that the first National Infant Immunization occurred in 1994. It was created to raise awareness about vaccinations for children. Vaccinations were available in the 1700’s. Particularly in 1796, the Smallpox Vaccine was developed by Edward Jenner. Other vaccines were soon developed including pertussis in the year 1914, Diptheria in 1926, and Tetanus in 1938. In the late 1940s, a combination of the three vaccines just mentioned were give and it was known as DTP. Then in 1971, the MMR vaccine was created by Dr Maurice Hilleman to target the diseases known as Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

One of the most commonly known vaccines is the Polio Vaccine. “Parents were scared of the polio epidemics that occurred each summer; they kept their children away from swimming pools, sent them to stay with relatives in the country, and clamored for an understanding of the spread of polio. They waited for a vaccine, closely following vaccine trials and sending dimes to the White House to help the cause. When the polio vaccine was licensed in 1955, the country celebrated and Jonas Salk, the inventor, became an overnight hero,” as stated by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

According to a CDC report released in May 2020, “There was a troubling drop in routine childhood vaccination as a result of families staying at home. CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children stay on track with their well-child appointments and routine vaccinations. On-time vaccination is critical to provide protection against potentially life-threatening diseases.”

Merckmanuals.com provided a list of a childhood vaccination schedule. It can be referred to below.

• Hepatitis B vaccine: This vaccine is given to most newborns before they are discharged from the hospital. The first dose is typically given at birth, the second dose at age 1 to 2 months and the third dose at age 6 to 18 months. Infants who did not receive a dose at birth should begin the series as soon as possible.

• Rotavirus vaccine: Depending on the vaccine used, two or three doses of the vaccine are required. With one vaccine, the first dose is given at age 2 months and the second dose at age 4 months. With the other vaccine, the first dose is given at age 2 months, the second dose at age 4 months and the third dose at age 6 months.

• Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine: Depending on the vaccine used, three or four doses of the Hib vaccine are required. With one vaccine, the first dose is given at age 2 months, the second dose at age 4 months, and the third dose at age 12 to 15 months. With the other vaccine, the first dose is given at age 2 months, the second dose at age 4 months, the third dose at age 6 months and the fourth dose at age 12 to 15 months.

• Poliovirus vaccine: Four doses of the vaccine are given. The first dose is given at age 2 months, the second dose at age 4 months, the third dose at age 6 to 18 months, and the fourth dose at age 4 to 6 years.

• Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine: Before age 7, children are given the DTaP preparation. Five doses of DTaP are given. The first dose is given at age 2 months, the second dose at age 4 months, the third dose at age 6 months, the fourth dose at age 15 to 18 months, and the fifth dose at age 4 to 6 years.

• DTaP is followed by one dose of a tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) booster given at age 11 to 12 years (shown as the number 6 on the above schedule). This dose is followed by a tetanus-diphtheria or Tdap booster every 10 years.

• Pneumococcal vaccine: Four doses of the vaccine are given. The first dose is given at age 2 months, the second dose at age 4 months, the third dose at age 6 months and the fourth dose at age 12 to 15 months.

• Meningococcal vaccine: Two doses of the vaccine are given. The first dose is given at age 11 to 12 years and the second dose at age 16 years (not shown on the above schedule).

• Influenza (flu) vaccine: The influenza vaccine should be given yearly to all children, beginning at age 6 months. There are two types of vaccine available. One or two doses are needed, depending on age and other factors. Most children need only one dose. Children 6 months to 8 years old who have received fewer than two doses or whose influenza vaccination history is unknown should receive two doses at least four weeks apart.

• Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine: Two doses of the vaccine are given. The first dose is given at age 12 to 15 months and the second dose at age 4 to 6 years.

• Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine: Two doses of the vaccine are given. The first dose is given at age 12 to 15 months and the second dose at age 4 to 6 years.

• Hepatitis A vaccine: Two doses of the vaccine are needed for lasting protection. The first dose is given between ages 12 to 23 months, and the second dose six months after the first. All children over age 24 months who have not been vaccinated should be given two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine.

Contact any local family practitioner or pediatrician for more information.

TRENDING RECIPE VIDEOS

More In Local News