Settled on a vaccine schedule for your baby yet? Hold that thought. The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with a new schedule that's supposed to be easier for us parents to read and follow.
The number of parents choosing to vaccinate on their own schedule has been increasing in recent years. As much as half the babies in a recent study were on a delayed schedule! It's awfully temping to come up with your own plan. But who are you going to listen to? Other moms or the AAP?
Here are the highlights of the new schedule to help you decide:
1. The AAP has NOT changed to a delayed schedule, instead sticking to the old timing and recommending parents follow the vaccine time table to the T to protect kids from the following 16 diseases: Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b (can cause meningitis, arthritis, pneumonia), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Human papillomavirus (HPV), Influenza (flu), measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), meningococcal (can cause meningitis, sepsis), pneumococcal (incl. ear infections, pneumonia, meningitis), Poliomyelitis (polio), rotavirus, and varicella (chickenpox).
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2. All pregnant women should get the whooping cough vaccine in the second half of their pregnancy. This is in response to whooping cough cases rising to a 50-year high, and it will enable moms to pass an immunity to their newborns that should help protect the baby until they're old enough to get the shot.
3. Parents no longer have to change lists when their kid hits 7. The new schedule will follow your child all the way from babyhood to 18.
4. Kids 4 to 6 and adolescents get a new focus in the new list. This is a period when there are traditionally fewer vaccines to worry about, but the AAP doesn't want parents to forget those that matter.
The CDC is already carrying an updated version of the new vaccine schedule.
Will you be following it with your baby?
Image via USACE Europe District/Flickr