The importance of timely vaccinations has been a hot media topic recently. There’s so much conflicting information about potential risks that it’s no wonder parents are anxious about what’s best for their child.
What no amount of debate can debunk is that timely vaccinations significantly decrease the risk of serious childhood diseases. Evidence-based research overwhelmingly shows that the benefits of timely vaccines far outweigh the risks.
Today, parents and pediatricians are talking about vaccines more than ever. What’s great about that is the dialogue shows that asking your doctor about medical interventions produces reliable answers, and it ensures a team approach to caring for your child.
Some excellent questions about potential risks versus benefits have arisen from the debate. Couple this with a generation of parents who are unfamiliar with the deadly illnesses that vaccines prevent, and you have a perfect storm for unease.
What parents need is accurate information. If you read healthcare information online, carefully consider the source. Instead of merely repeating a rumored concern, check your facts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site at www.cdc.gov/vaccines is an excellent and reliable source with plenty of answers and current information.
Discuss any concerns you have with your pediatrician in an appropriate manner. Expect a thorough explanation that includes the seriousness of vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Pediatricians, meanwhile, must be available to discuss gaps in information with families in a non-confrontational manner, preferably before vaccines are due and outside of the already time-constrained well-child visit.
A group called the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Pediatric Ambulatory Quality Committee is creating a common vaccination schedule for our community, identifying best practices, and creating useful tools. Other upcoming quality projects include interventions around obesity, asthma, unnecessary antibiotic use, and improving the flow of information between doctors and families. We are here to talk with you and offer the best medical advice based on research, which now tells us that leaving your children unprotected from serious and preventable illnesses may bring unwanted trouble.
In Baton Rouge, pediatricians have collaborated to recommend a standardized vaccination schedule for all children. It's an effort to improve patient safety and the quality of the care provided. Below is the recommended vaccination schedule, based on Centers for Disease Control guidelines. If you have questions, be sure to ask your pediatrician.
|Birth||Hep B #1|
|2 mo||DTaP-Hib-IPV, Prevnar #1, Rota #1, HepB#2|
|4mo||DTaP-Hib-IPV, Prevnar #1, Rota #1|
|6mo||DTaP-Hib-IPV, Prevnar #1, Rota #1, HepB#3|
|12mo||MMR, Varivax, Hep A#1|
|15mo||DTaP-Hib-Ipv#4, Prevnar #4|
|2 years||Hep A #2|
|11 years||Tdap, MCV#1, HPV#1 (HPV#2 at t+2mo, HPV#3 at t+6mo)|
|16 years||Tdap, MCV#2|