Vaccinations are administered to infants, children, and young adults to help them lead a healthy life. These preventive medicines keep them protected from diseases that are commonly found in people of this age group. Vaccines ensure that children are safeguarded from mild to serious illnesses, which may render them severely disabled, or put them in life threatening situations. These need to be administered as per a pre-defined schedule, the failure of which may render it ineffective in protecting your child. Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in care of infants, babies, and children. Gaithersburg in Maryland (MD) boasts of some renowned and well experienced pediatricians in the country. These medical practitioners recommend following the given schedule for children above the age of 1, up to the age of 11, for maximum protection.
• 15 months : Tetanus/ Diphtheria/ Pertussis, Haemophilus Influenza B
The vaccines to be administered after the dosages completed on first birthday are the DTaP vaccine as well as the Hib vaccine. DTaP protects against three serious and life threatening diseases.
o Diphtheria – A bacterial disease that causes a thick covering to form in the back of your child’s throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
o Tetanus (Lockjaw) – A disease that causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It often leads to ‘locking’ of the jaw, which makes it difficult for the child to open the mouth or swallow.
o Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – A bacterial infection that causes severe coughing spells, which makes it hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. It can also lead to can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and eventually death.
Hib protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b disease caused by bacteria. The disease often results in bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, breathing difficulty, infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart, and in rare cases, death.
• 2 Years : Hepatitis A vaccine
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease, characterized by symptoms such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or joint pain, severe stomach pains and diarrhea, or jaundice. The disease causes liver failure and eventually death. The first dose of Hepatitis A vaccine is given at the age of 1 year, and then repeated at the age of 2 years.
• 4 Years : Varicella (Chickenpox) booster
The booster dose for chicken pox is a vaccination that re-introduces your child to immunizing antigen. It helps build better immunity against the common childhood disease, which causes rash, itching, fever, and tiredness. The disease may also result in severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, and brain damage. The booster vaccines is helpful in restoring the antigen back to protective levels.
• 5 Years : Tetanus/ Diphteria/ Pertussis, Measles/ Mumps/ Rubella (MMR), Polio, Hearing and Vision Screening
The DTaP and MMR vaccines are re administered when the child turn 5 years old. He/she may also be screened for hearing and vision to check for disabilities or impairment.
• After the age of 5, children can be subjected to well visits annually or when needed (for sports, camps etc.)
• After the age of 9 to 11, suggested vaccines are HPV and Meningitis, along with a booster dose for Tetanus/ Diphteria/ Pertussis at the age of 10 to 11 years.
Timely and proper vaccination can help your child lead a healthy childhood and adulthood. Pediatricians in Gaithersburg, MD are your go-to source for necessary help, and for administering the vaccines to your child at the right time.
White Oak Pediatrics is a pediatric clinic based in Silver Spring and Gaithersburg, MD ( WhiteOakPediatrics/Pediatrician-in-Gaithersburg,MD ) whose team of board certified pediatricians and nurse practitioners treat infants, toddlers, teens and adolescents. To learn more, visit WhiteOakPediatrics/Meet-Our-Providers.