Questions And Answers About Your Child's First Year Of Vaccinations

Posted on: 14 September 2015

If you are a new parent, you are probably already dreading the shots that your child will receive at his or her well baby visits. However, vaccinations are important for disease prevention. Here are a few questions and answers to help you know what to expect from vaccinations during the first year of your child's life: 

How frequently will your child be vaccinated?

Expect your child to receive multiple vaccinations at each of his or her routine checkups. During the first year, pediatricians usually schedule checkups at two, four, six and 12 months.

What happens if your child misses an appointment or needs to delay a checkup?

If your child misses an appointment and an associated vaccine, your pediatrician will simply schedule the vaccination for the next visit. 

Are there side effects associated with vaccinations?

Severe side effects are rare. However, there are common side effects that your baby may experience from his or her vaccinations, such as redness, pain and swelling at the injection site. In addition, your little one may run a slight fever the day after a vaccination. Your child's doctor may suggest that you administer a dose of pain reliever and fever reducer, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, a few hours before your child's appointment. 

What vaccines can you expect during your child's first year?

Several of your child's vaccines will be administered in multiple doses, so you may see certain vaccinations named repeatedly on his or her vaccination schedule. Here are some vaccinations that will likely be on your child's schedule:

  • Hepatitis B: This vaccine is usually given to your newborn by hospital staff before he or she leaves the hospital. However, two more subsequent doses will be given; one at around two months and the other between six and 18 months.
  • Rotavirus: This vaccine is usually administered orally to prevent rotavirus disease. It also requires three doses, usually at two months, four months and six months.
  • DTaP: Three doses of this combined vaccine are needed to immunize your child against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. It is usually administered at two months, four months and six months.
  • IPV: This inactivated polio vaccine is administered in four doses to help your child avoid polio. The first three doses are received at two months, four months and between six and 18 months.
  • Hib: Hib stands for "Haemophilus influenzae type B." It is administered in four doses to prevent illnesses, such as meningitis. The first three doses may be given at the two-month, four-month and six-month appointment.

Your child may also need a flu shot if he or she at least six months old during flu season. 

Immunizations are important. To ensure that your child's vaccinations are up-to-date, consult with his or her pediatrician today.