The Childhood immunization schedule
Published Date:February 2013
Corporate Authors:American Academy of Family Physicians. ; American Academy of Pediatrics. ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
Description:Who recommends vaccines and what is considered in the recommendation process? -- Why are there so many vaccines for children before they turn 2 years old? -- hen following the recommended immunization schedule, there are some visits when infants and children receive several shots. Won’t that overload a child’s immune system? -- What’s wrong with following an alternative schedule, like spreading out shots so that immunizations are done when a child is ready to start school? -- Why do vaccines for babies and young children require more than one dose? -- Are there some children who shouldn’t receive some vaccines?
The purpose of the recommended immunization schedule is to protect infants and children by providing immunity early in life, before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
Each vaccine is tested during the licensing process to be sure that it is safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.
Vaccines do not overload the immune system. Every day, a healthy baby’s immune system successfully fights off millions of antigens—the parts of germs that cause the body’s immune system to go to work. Vaccines contain only a tiny fraction of the antigens that babies encounter in their environment every day.
Children do not receive any known benefits from following schedules that delay vaccines. We do know that delaying vaccines puts children at known risk of becoming ill with vaccine-preventable diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a catch-up schedule designed to quickly get children back on schedule if they fall behind.
The recommended and catch-up schedules can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/
Last reviewed February 2013
Supporting Files:No Additional Files
You May Also Like: