Forget what Jenny McCarthy says. There’s absolutely no link between vaccines given during infancy and rates of autism later on in life. But the lack of scientific evidence hasn’t stopped plenty of Americans from casting aside the better judgment of their pediatric physicians and foregoing vaccines in favor of “taking their chances.”
That’s led to a significant resurgence in childhood deaths from preventable diseases, with 122 children succumbing to influenza in 2011 alone. And worldwide, UNICEF reports that one child dies nearly every 20 seconds from a disease that could have been prevented in the first place with a vaccine. So, vaccines are important. But when is the right time to bring in your children to get vaccinated?
Birth to six months
When your baby is born, he or she will be vaccinated right away to fight against Hepatitis B. In the coming months, it’ll be a good idea to return every two months to your pediatric care center so he or she may receive another, as well as different vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hib meningitis, influenza, polio and more. If you’re looking for another pediatric doctor, you can find a list of pediatricians online or in the yellow pages.
One year to a year and a half
After your baby’s all loaded up with Hep B vaccines, it’s time to give the shots that protect against Hepatitis A, measles, mumps, rubella, pneumococcal disease and chickenpox. Before he or she heads into kindergarten, you should return for the last round of vaccines, which include polio (again), diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (again), measles, mumps and rubella (again) as well as varicella.
Regular checkups in the meantime
Finding a pediatrician can be tricky, but the time frame for how often you take your baby to the doctor shouldn’t be. Most medical experts recommend taking your child to the pediatrician withing the first month after he or she is born, then every two months thereafter until it’s been a year. From there, yearly checkups are likely the best course of action.
To find pediatricians in your area, Google can quickly become your best friend. Find a list of pediatricians online and read all the reviews beforehand so you can make a list of the best options for your new son or daughter. Then, meet with the ones you like so you can figure out which is the best option. Good luck, and remember that vaccines are good — despite what certain celebrities say. Read more here.