Immunizations are a necessary evil of childhood. As a
mother, it’s heartbreaking to have your one year old
begin to cry as soon as you enter the pediatrician’s
building out of fear of a shot, but every time you take
him to the doctor, but immunizations are the reason the
death rate for infectious disease among babies and young
children is so low today. Following are the
immunizations your child should receive, and the
approximate ages at which they will receive them.
DTP - (Diptheria, tetanus and pertussis) – Your child
will receive this vaccine at around two months of age,
four months, six months, 12-18 months and the final dose
between the ages of 4 and 6 years. The pertussis vaccine
has a high risk of reaction, those most reactions are
mild. However, you should ensure that your child is well
at the time of the vaccine, and that you watch them
closely for about 72 hours after the vaccine. Your
doctor should provide you a complete list of possible
reactions, and how to treat them. However, for certain,
if your child runs a fever over 104°F or becomes limp or
difficult to wake up, seek treatment immediately.
MMR – (Measles, mumps, rubella) – Your child will
receive this vaccine between twelve and fifteen months
of age, and then again sometime between the ages of 4
and 12 years old. Reactions to this vaccine are common,
but mild, and don’t usually occur until about two weeks
after the shot, so they are often not recognized as
being associated with the vaccine. Some children have a
mild rash and low grade fever, often accompanied by
swelling of the glands in the neck.
VZV – (Varicella) – You probably didn’t receive this
vaccine for chickenpox, but your child will receive it
between 12 and 18 months of age. Reactions are few, and
usually include just a mild fever.
Hib – (Hemophilus b) – This vaccine prevents a range
of infections, including meningitis, caused by the
hemophilus influenzae b virus. Your child will receive
this vaccine at two, four and six months, and then again
between 12 and 15 months. Some doctors offer Hib
combined with DTP in one vaccine.
Hepatitis B – Your child probably will receive the
first dose of this vaccine at birth, and will get doses
again between two and four months and six to 18 months.
This vaccine typically causes no reactions.
OPV – This is the polio vaccine, which has been
successful at all but eradicating this crippling
illness. Your child will receive doses at two and four
months, at eighteen months and between four and six
years. Children rarely suffer any reaction to this oral
vaccine, though it is typically postponed if your child
Your child’s vaccinations are typically administered
at well baby care visits. This is one of the reasons it
is so important to regularly attend these appointments.
Receiving the right vaccines at the right time is
critical to your child’s health.