The Essential Guide to Vaccines: What New Moms Need to Know
Scientists have developed different types of vaccines against diseases, which now allow the prevention of these diseases. Thus, more parents are encouraged to have their little ones vaccinated.
We understand that deciding whether to do so can sometimes be hard. It is primarily due to the vast misinformation online and even offline.
If you are currently researching this, you’ve come to the right page. We’ll help you understand some vaccine basics, such as the different types available and what your baby should have, or when they should have it.
Read on and hopefully, you’ll find answers to the questions you might have about vaccines and immunizations. After which, decide what’s best for your family. Let's explore this world of vaccines together!
What Are The Different Types of Vaccines?
Health experts underwent various studies and methods to develop vaccines. Their approaches are based on data they gathered on the disease the vaccine will prevent, which may include how the virus infects, and how the body’s immune system responds.
This set of information may sound too technical for new moms.
Here is a list of the different types of vaccines:
Live Attenuated Vaccines
To formulate live attenuated vaccines, experts weaken the virus or bacteria causing a certain disease which then forms part of the vaccine. MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) or chickenpox vaccines are some common examples.
For a kid deemed healthy, live attenuated vaccines can provide long-lasting immunity. In contrast, this is not given to kids with weak immune systems.
2. Inactivated Vaccines
When a killed virus or bacteria forms part of a vaccine formula, then we have the inactivated vaccine. This type requires booster shots, or else the immunity will not prolong. Falling under this category are polio and HEPA A vaccines.
3. Subunit, Recombinant, and Conjugate Vaccines
Subunit, recombinant, and conjugate vaccines — such long words but all use specific strands of the virus or bacteria to trigger your body’s immune response.
In this case, the human papillomavirus (HPV) and pneumococcal vaccines are classified as these types are well-tolerated by an average person.
4. mRNA Vaccines
To make cells produce protein to trigger an immune response, mRNA vaccines use a genetic material called messenger RNA (mRNA). The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are examples.
Recently, mRNA vaccines showed high efficacy against COVID-19, but experts are continuously researching this vaccine for the possibility of use against other diseases.
It should be emphasized, especially for new moms, that every child is unique. Some vaccines aren’t recommended for your little one. Even the schedule of the vaccine shots differs for every child.
To know which vaccines your baby should get and when he should get them, your pediatrician is the expert to give you the correct information.
What Are The Recommended Vaccines For Children?
When you are updated with the suggested vaccines that your child needs to get by a certain age, you will have peace of mind knowing that they have a shield against certain preventable diseases.
The immunization schedules the health experts agreed upon are highly based on extensive research showing the best timing for each vaccine dose. In this way, parents feel confident about the effectiveness of the vaccines.
**Do you know that the first vaccine that babies receive is Hepatitis B? Yes, it's given within the first 24 hours of life! There’s no need to worry, though. Babies don’t even notice it.
The second dose is after one month and the third dose is when your baby turns 6 to 18 months,
Two Months Old
It's amazing to know that at two months old, your baby’s done with the first round of vaccine shots. They are already protected from up to seven types of illnesses! Sit back, let’s go through each together.
This is the first shot giving protection from diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis or whooping cough.
A real superhero is next! Hib or the Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine. This gives protection from ear and lung infections, throat swelling, and meningitis.
Trust us, you definitely want your baby to get this vaccine! Without Hib, the infections mentioned can be severe, and even life-threatening.
In case your baby shows signs of meningitis without being vaccinated, they need to undergo a lumbar tap to test their spinal fluid for the bacteria. To avoid this, have your baby get Hib shots. This is an easy way to ensure your baby will not contract those scary illnesses.
3. Polio (IPV)
The pneumococcal vaccine is a rockstar! The powers of streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacteria that causes a bunch of infections won’t work if your baby has this vaccine.
When this type of bacteria goes into the lungs of your little one, the result will be pneumonia. Worse, if it goes into the bloodstream, your baby may suffer sepsis, a serious infection.
If these bacteria get into the tissue around the baby’s brain, it can lead to meningitis. If that’s not scary enough, these bacteria can also cause ear infections, which can be super painful.
Luckily, since the pneumococcal vaccine was administered to the general population, there are fewer incidents of infection among children. Get your little one the pneumococcal shots. Four doses are needed for full protection.
4. Rotavirus (RV)
The rotavirus vaccine is a real lifesaver! It protects against the biggest cause of diarrhea in kids. And let's be real, nobody likes dealing with a little one's diarrhea.
Rotavirus is highly contagious. It can linger on hands, dirty diapers, toys, and even airborne. Serious symptoms like watery stool, vomiting, fever, and tummy pain can manifest in infected kids. Hospital admission is needed for rehydration.
Luckily, a simple shot can prevent all of these from happening! With only two or three doses, depending on the brand, your kid gets protected.
Six Months Old
Do you know that flu shot everyone's talking about? It's not just for old folks! We highly recommend the flu vaccine to everyone. This includes babies at least 6 months, with very few exceptions.
Since even the healthiest kids can suffer from extreme flu symptoms. In some cases, ending up hospitalized. Getting the flu shot is extremely important.
Additionally, since the flu virus tends to mutate yearly, a regular flu shot is needed. Hence, annual flu shots can prevent your child from getting seriously sick. **Don't wait! Talk to us about getting your little one vaccinated against the flu virus.
12-18 Months Old
MMR stands for measles, mumps, and rubella. Generally, kids need two shots of this, but three doses may be recommended during an outbreak.
Most children who get MMR shots are protected for life. This vaccine is a superhero protecting against three serious diseases:
Measles has symptoms of rashes, fever, cough, runny nose, pink eye or conjunctivitis, seizures, ear infections, diarrhea, and pneumonia. These can be rare, but once inflicted can lead to brain damage that could be fatal.
Mumps can manifest swollen salivary glands under the jaw, fever, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. In extreme cases, there’s deafness, swelling of the brain or spinal cord, or painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries.
Rubella presents with a fever, a rash, and swollen lymph nodes. For those pregnant while getting rubella, a miscarriage, ** stillbirth, premature birth, or serious birth defects for the baby may happen.
Protect your kids from all of these dangerous symptoms and complications. Have them get the shots.
Have you ever had chickenpox? It is a contagious and itchy illness that the varicella vaccine can protect against, but you need to get two doses.
Sadly, chickenpox can still lead to children being hospitalized and some even die. Even if your child only experiences a mild case, he can still miss school for more than a week.
In most cases, the first MMR shot and varicella shot are administered separately. But if you prefer, your child can receive the MMRV vaccine as the first dose instead.
3. Hepatitis A
If you want to protect your little one from serious liver disease, have them get the Hepa A shot. Your child gets two doses **within a 6-month interval. The good news is that the protection lasts for life.
Contaminated food or water can spread Hepa A. Even direct contact with an infected person can also have you infected, even if they are asymptomatic. Getting your child vaccinated can keep them healthy and protected!
It’s true, the names of these shots sound a bit intimidating and confusing, but they're there, ready to protect your little one from nasty illnesses.
Vaccines Are Safe And They Work
Research is done to ensure the effectiveness of vaccines before they are given to babies and children.
Firstly, detailed clinical trials are run. Health experts see how well the shots work or whether they may lead to any side effects.
Secondly, another group of health professionals, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, recheck everything before telling the FDA whether the new vaccine should be approved or otherwise.
If the FDA gives the go signal, there is another group of experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), who examine the new vaccine before making recommendations on its usage.
But wait, the thorough checks don't stop there!
Even after it's approved and recommended, the vaccines are still under the keen watch of the CDC and FDA. They do "post-marketing" surveillance, which is aimed at detecting any rare side effects missed during clinical trials.
Vaccines Are Worth A Lifetime, Get Your Child Protected
Fact-check when it comes to vaccine information! If you don't know where the information came from, be extra skeptical. Misinformation is still out there, especially online. The good news is that there are many reliable sources, or simply ask us if you need advice.
**True enough, it is a bit challenging to navigate all the information you can find out there, but, as always, we are here to help.
In case questions about these vaccines are still lingering in your mind, reach out to us. We’ll guide you through the entire vaccination process. Let us work together to ensure the health of your child. Trust us to be your partner.