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What Vaccines Does My Child Need?

Vaccinations are one of the most important preventive steps you can take to promote the health of your child. Vaccines equip your child’s immune system to effectively fight off major diseases without them getting seriously ill. This means your child is less likely to experience the illness, disability, and loss of life associated with conditions like polio, whooping cough, and the flu. 

At Penguin Pediatrics, we offer vaccinations at different stages of your child’s development. Certain ones should be given shortly after birth, while others can wait until late adolescence. 

Umesh Kodu, MD, and Andrea McKennon, MD, answer all your questions about vaccines so you know what to expect when you come in for an appointment. Be assured that vaccines are a safe, effective way to prevent major illness in your child and the community. 

The vaccines your child needs depend on your child’s age and prior vaccine history. Here’s some of the most up-to-date information on what vaccines are recommended. 

The first vaccines

At birth, your baby has some protection against disease because they receive special antibodies from their mother just before birth. Breastfed babies get additional antibodies in breast milk. 

These protections are short-lived, so it’s best to have some vaccines given early in infancy to take advantage of your baby’s still-developing immune system. 

At Penguin Pediatrics, we recommend the following vaccines be given at 2 months of age: 

Another dose of DTaP, polio, pneumococcal, rotavirus, and Hib is given when your child is 4 months and 6 months old. 

We also recommend your child receive their first flu vaccine at six months of age. They’ll need one yearly to protect against various strains of the virus.

Toddler vaccines

If your children received their vaccines when they were babies, they’ll have protection against 14 diseases by the time they’re 2 years old. They may require boosters for these vaccines during the toddler years to ensure they continue to develop immunity:

We also recommend they get boosters of the DTaP, polio, pneumococcal, hepatitis B, and Hib vaccines.

School-age children

Young school-age children get a booster of DTaP, Polio, MMR, and chickenpox between the ages of 4 and 6 years.

Preteens benefit from the meningococcal conjugate, Tdap, flu, and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. Some schools, camps, and colleges require certain vaccines and should provide you with a list. We can provide these required immunizations and proof of vaccination. 

When are vaccines administered?

Vaccines are usually given during a standard wellness check. But certain vaccines, like HPV, require a series of injections scheduled over the course of several weeks. 

Your child’s wellness checks occur every few months up until the age of 2, when they switch to yearly exams. If your child has a chronic condition or special needs, they may need more frequent visits -- but won’t get vaccines at every one. 

Our team at Penguin Pediatrics cares about your child’s health. Contact us today if you have questions about their vaccination status and to set up an appointment to get them up-to-date. 

Call one of our offices in Stone Ridge or Ashburn, Virginia, or use the online booking tool for an appointment.

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