There are many reasons why your child might be behind on their immunizations. Sometimes life gets busy and you may simply not have had time for well-child visits with your pediatrician. Maybe illnesses have interfered with your child's ability to get certain vaccines. Families who are new to the country may not have had the opportunity to get vaccinations before now. Some families may have avoided vaccinations in the past, but are now convinced of their safety. Once you're behind, how do you go about getting caught up? Take a look at some tips for catching up on your child's immunizations.
The CDC's Catch-Up Schedule
Most parents won't have too much difficulty figuring out where to get started. In addition to the recommended vaccination schedule, the CDC also has a catch-up schedule that lays out a safe and effective way for children to get caught up on vaccines if they get a late start. Your child's pediatrician will be well-aware of this catch-up schedule.
In most cases, you'll probably end up following the CDC's catch-up schedule. Because the official shot record for your child is usually based on the standard schedule, you may want to keep your own notes on which shots your child receives on which dates, just to make sure there's no confusion when it's time for the next one. In a few circumstances, you and your child's pediatrician may agree to deviate from the CDC's schedule.
Consider Nearby Outbreaks
If there are outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in your area, you and your pediatrician may agree that vaccinating for those specific diseases is a high priority and that those vaccines should be moved to the front of your immunization catch-up schedule.
For example, it was recently reported that the state of Minnesota had more cases of measles than were reported across the entire United States during the previous calendar year, indicating a serious outbreak in that area. With that in mind, Minnesota parents whose children need to catch up on vaccines may choose to prioritize the measles vaccine for their children's safety.
Consider Family Needs
The needs of other family members may also make a difference in your child's catch-up immunization schedule. Immunizations play an important role in protecting not only the immunized person, but also any children who are too young to be vaccinated, or any people in the house who are immunocompromised or who cannot be vaccinated for other health reasons.
So, for example, if you have an older child who has not had vaccinations, and you also have a new baby, or you're expecting a new baby soon, it may be advisable for your older child to start with the pertussis vaccine, which protects against whooping cough, and the Hib vaccine, which protects against infections like meningitis and pneumonia. This will help protect the new baby, who is more vulnerable to these illnesses, as well as the older child.
Your child's pediatrician is the best person to advise you about your child's immunization schedule, due to their knowledge of childhood vaccines and their familiarity with your child's medical history. Make sure to bring up any concerns that you may have with your child's doctor so that they can be properly addressed.
Contact professionals like Northeast Wyoming Pediatric Associates Pc to learn more.