Vaccines for Your Newborn: What to Expect from Birth to 2 Months

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Vaccines provide immunity to life-threatening diseases. Vaccines are given to infants in order to build immunity before being exposed to these diseases. Many vaccines are delivered in more than one dose to build or boost immunity. Vaccines go through extensive testing before being administered to people. For more information on safety and ingredients, check out the CDC resource that addresses common concerns.   

The following is the CDC recommended schedule for vaccines from birth to two months of age. To see the complete schedule, visit the CDC website. 

Birth

Hepatitis B ,”Hep B” – This vaccine (1st dose of two) protects against infection from hepatitis B, a disease that can be contracted by contact with bodily fluids or blood and can cause chronic liver infection, liver failure, liver cancer, and death. Babies born in hospitals are given this shot soon after birth (within 24 hours, as per the CDC recommendation). Soreness and/or rash at the injection site are the most common side effects after the vaccine. Find more information here

1-2 Months

Hepatitis B, “HepB” – This vaccine is the second dose to provide immunity to hepatitis B, a disease that can be contracted by contact with bodily fluids or blood and can cause chronic liver infection, liver failure, liver cancer, and death. Soreness and/or rash at the injection site are the most common side effects after the vaccine. Find more information here

Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis), “DTaP” – This vaccine combination (1st dose of six) protects against diptheria, complications of which can include swelling of the heart muscle, heart failure, coma, paralysis, and death; tetanus, which can cause broken bones, breathing difficulty, and death; and whooping cough (also known as pertussis), which can cause complications like pneumonia and death. Find more information about each vaccine at the corresponding link above. 

Haemophilus influenzae type b disease, “Hib” – This vaccine (1st dose of four) protects against Hib disease, the most common of which is meningitis, which can cause lifelong disability and can be life threatening. Side effects of the shot can include redness/swelling and pain at the injection site and fever. Learn more about this disease and injection

Polio, “IPV” – This vaccine is the first dose of four and protects against polio, a disease that can cause lifelong paralysis and death. Redness, swelling, and/or pain at the site are the most common side effects. Find more information about the polio vaccine

Pneumococcal disease, “PCV13” – This vaccine (1st dose of four) protects against pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumococcal meningitis and pneumonia. Complications from these diseases include blood infection, meningitis, and death. Side effects can include redness and swelling at the site, fussiness, and fever. Learn more about the pneumococcal shot

Rotavirus, “RV” – This vaccine (1st dose of two or three, depending on the type) is given by mouth instead of a shot and protects against rotavirus, a disease that causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can cause complications like dehydration and death. Common side effects include fussiness, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some studies have shown a small increase in a type of bowel blockage called intussusception within a week after the first or second dose of the vaccine. Learn more about the rotavirus vaccine and intussusception here

For more information on all things parents need to know about vaccines for their children, visit the CDC vaccines page for parents

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