Immunization: Vital for infants

This week’s celebration is the National Infant Immunization Week wherein the achievements of all immunization programs and health advocates behind those programs will be recognized. The said celebration is a yearly observance to emphasize the importance of keeping and protecting children with ages 2 years old and younger from diseases that are vaccine-preventable.

In controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants all over the world, there are several important milestones already have been reached. Infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases have been extremely reduced by vaccines in the United States. Some examples include:

  • Infants and children below 2 years old are being protected from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases through immunization.
  • Today, many practicing doctors have never seen any case of measles unlike in the 1950s wherein most every child developed measles and some even have died from this serious disease.

It is not hard to think and consider these as diseases of the past. But, unfortunately, they still exist today. In fact, children in the United States can and do still get some of these diseases, as evidenced by the nation’s current measles outbreak. To be protected, first dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine should be given to all children aging between 1 and 2 years old should have received their first dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

The required and recommended vaccines for 2-yr old children which should have received to be considered up to date are in the following list:

  1. Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) — 4 doses
  2. Polio — 3 doses
  3. Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) — 1 dose
  4. Varicella (chickenpox) — 1 dose
  5. Hepatitis B — 3 doses
  6. Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) — 3 or 4 doses
  7. Pneumococcal disease (PCV-13) — 4 doses
  8. Hepatitis A — 2 doses
  9. Rotavirus — 2 or 3 doses

Child care centers in Pueblo require most of the vaccinations in the list. For them, they are not just protecting their own children, but they are also protecting all of the children in their community including those who are unable to receive immunization.

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