I'm concerned about my newborn's vaccination schedule. Why do infants need so many vaccines so quickly?
Answers from Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.
Children need vaccines early because they are susceptible to disease at a young age. Infectious diseases can be life-threatening for infants and young children.
Babies might get some temporary protection from their mothers but only from diseases to which the mother is immune — and this immunity fades by age 6 months. If a child isn't vaccinated and is exposed to a disease, he or she might become sick and spread the illness.
Avoid altering your child's recommended vaccination schedule. Research shows that it's safe for infants and young children to receive multiple vaccines at the same time, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccination schedule.
Remember, newborns and young children can be exposed to diseases from family members, care providers and other close contacts, as well as during routine outings — such as trips to the grocery store. Many vaccines can be given even if your child has a mild illness, such as a cold, earache or mild fever. Consult your child's doctor regularly to keep your child's vaccination status up to date.
July 20, 2016
- Infant immunizations FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/parent-questions.html. Accessed June 28, 2016.
- Recommended immunization schedule for persons aged 0 through 18 years, United States, 2016. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html. Accessed June 28, 2016.
- Destefano F, et al. Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism. The Journal of Pediatrics. 2013;163:561.