Vaccines save lives by preventing disease. All of the medical professionals at EPG are strongly in support of protecting children’s health by giving them vaccines which prevent infectious diseases. Although we are willing to work with families who have concerns about vaccine efficacy and safety, we feel that parents who are opposed to vaccine administration to their children need to seek pediatric care from providers who have similar philosophies. We follow the recommended schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Vaccine Schedule Chart
AN EASY TO REFERENCE ONLINE GUIDE TO KNOW WHEN YOUR CHILD NEEDS IMMUNIZATIONS.
We participate in the New York State Immunization Registry program (NYSIIS), which ensures that each patient’s immunization history is part of the State’s data base. All immunization data is automatically transferred to the registry unless the parent “opts out” of participating. This service provides our patients ready and rapid access to their vaccine information. For more information regarding vaccines, visit our Health Library section or our vaccine schedule chart.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) should not be given before immunizations.
Parents often ask if Acetaminophen (Tylenol) be given before vaccines. Since receiving immunizations may cause a mild fever, many parents do routinely give these medications to children when they receive their vaccinations. However, we know that fever is one sign that our body if generating an immune response. A recent study indicated that receiving acetaminophen before vaccines could possibly reduce that immune response and make the vaccines less effective. This means having a fever could make the vaccines work better! Keep in mind that this was just one study and it did not look at other fever reducing medications such as ibuprofen.
The best advice is to wait and see how your child reacts to the immunizations. Many children act fine after receiving their vaccines even if they have a vaccine-related fever. If that is the case, the fever is possibly a good thing and acetaminophen isn’t necessary. If however your child is acting sick after receiving vaccines, acetaminophen can be used.
Immunizations for your child and what diseases they prevent
Hepatitis A and B are contagious liver diseases that can be either “acute” (mild illness lasting a few weeks) or “chronic” (lifelong illness). Symptoms can include fever, nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain, dark urine, and jaundice. These symptoms usually occur a few months after exposure to the virus. Hepatitis can only be prevented through vaccination.
Rotavirus is a very contagious virus that causes acute gastroenteritis (infection of the gastrointestinal tract). Symptoms can include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and vomiting. We provide RV5 which is given in three doses at the ages of 2 months, 4 months and 6 months.
The DtaP vaccine prevents diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. The symptoms of diphtheria include a thick covering of the back of the throat which can lead to breathing problems, paralysis and heart failure. The symptoms of tetanus can include lock jaw and may have up to a 20% fatality rate. The symptoms of pertussis (whooping cough) include severe coughing fits that make it hard to drink, eat and breathe, sometimes leading to pneumonia and seizures. It is recommended that children get five doses of DtaP vaccination at the following ages; 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15-18 months and 4-6 years.
This vaccine prevents multiple serious infections that include meningitis, pneumonia and epiglottitis. These infections are severe and can cause fatality of infants and lifelong complications. The HiB vaccine is usually given in four doses at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and somewhere between 12-15 months.
There are multiple types of pneumococcal diseases and over 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria, like pneumococcal pneumonia, meningitis and bacteremia (blood infections). There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines: PCV13 which protects against 13 of these different bacteria and PPSV which protects against 23 of these bacteria. Pneumococcal is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable illness and death in the United States. The pneumococcal vaccine is usually given in four doses at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and somewhere between 12-15 months.
Most people with polio experience no symptoms, but 25% can feel sick, 5% can have meningitis and around 1% experience paralysis. It is recommended that children get 4 doses at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months and 4-6 years.
MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
All of these diseases are contagious through the air. Symptoms of measles include rash, cough, fever, runny nose and can lead to other infections such as pneumonia and ear infections and encephalitis (a brain infection). Symptoms of mumps include fever, muscle pain, loss of appetite, headaches and can lead to deafness and meningitis. Symptoms of rubella include fever and rash. The MMR vaccine is given up into two doses; the first between 12-15 months of age and the second 4-6 years of age.
Two doses of chickenpox vaccination can be up to 98% effective against the varicella virus. The symptoms include an itchy rash with blisters that spread all over the body. Once receiving the virus, a person could then develop shingles later in their life which causes extreme pain. Most children who get the varicella virus will never experience chickenpox. It is recommended that children get the varicella vaccine in two doses at the ages between 12-15 months and 4-6 years.
HPV is one of the fastest spreading viruses and is a very common infection. HPV affects the genital region but can lead to genital and cervical cancer. It is sexually spread and many will have HPV and never know since there aren’t many noticeable symptoms. For children 11-14, a series of two doses are needed. If the first dose is given at age 15 years and above, then a 3 shot series is needed.
The meningococcal vaccine protects against five types of meningococcal diseases. The meningococcus bacteria is carried in the back of the nose and throat sometimes with no signs or symptoms of the disease. However, these bacteria can invade the body causing many illnesses. The two most severe diseases are meningitis and bloodstream infections (bacteremia). It is recommended that this vaccine is given to a child at ages 11 years and 16 years.
Influenza, or the flu, is a seasonal and very common illness. Each year the influenza virus evolves, making it difficult to prevent long-term. Therefore, it is recommended that you and your child get a flu vaccine each year during flu season near the beginning of fall. Even though the symptoms are similar to the common cold, they can become severe enough to lead to other illnesses and even cause death. On average 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized due to the flu, and nearly 140 pediatrics deaths are related to it.