I'm concerned about my newborn's vaccination schedule. Why do infants need so many vaccines so quickly?

Answer From Pritish K. Tosh, M.D.

Newborns are scheduled to get vaccines right away because these medicines help protect against serious diseases. These diseases can harm babies or lead to death.

Most babies are born with an immune system ready to keep out germs. For about three months after birth, babies may get some protection from diseases their birth mother was immune to, or from their birth mother's vaccines.

But vaccination makes sure a baby has as much protection as is safely possible against diseases that could overwhelm the immune system or cause serious complications. Vaccination also helps prevent babies and children from spreading infections to others.

A vaccine gets the body ready to get rid of something that doesn't belong. That means during an infection, the bacteria or virus will be stopped before it has a chance to cause damage.

The vaccine schedule covers common and dangerous infections. It's designed to protect babies when their immune system is ready. And it's designed to protect babies before they come into contact with the real infection. Newborns and young children can be exposed to diseases from family members, caregivers, and other close contacts. And they can be exposed to diseases during routine trips, such as visits to the grocery store.

Talk to your child's health care provider if you're worried about the vaccine schedule. Getting vaccinated on schedule provides the best protection against illness. The vaccine schedule has been studied for decades. For this reason, unless your child's health care provider tells you something different for your child, it's the safest schedule.


Pritish K. Tosh, M.D.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips, current health topics, and expertise on managing health. Click here for an email preview.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Oct. 11, 2022 See more Expert Answers