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The Importance of Vaccination Schedules for Children

vaccine schedules for kids

The start of the new school year is a great time for parents to make sure their child is up to date with all of their scheduled vaccinations. Many schools require them in order for kids to come to class.

Within the first four years of life, children need a host of vaccinations to prevent potentially devastating diseases. Some of the common vaccinations are for diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella. Any booster shots are important too, designed specifically to drive lifelong immunity.

Gregory Germain, MD, Associate Chair, Department of Pediatrics at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, said any gap or delay in vaccines can leave children open to risk. That’s why it’s so important for parents to stay up to date on their child’s vaccinations.

"The science behind vaccines is they work best if you get the vaccines on a schedule," Dr. Germain said. "We know that vaccines generate some immunity, start to wane and the booster dose or second dose expands exponentially that immunity."

Another important vaccination for kids is the COVID-19 vaccine. Yale New Haven Children's Hospital recommends eligible children get vaccinated and boosted to protect themselves and others.

Even kids who are already up to date with their vaccinations still need a yearly check-up, so Dr. Germain recommends parents remember to schedule their child's visit with their pediatrician.