The number of recommended vaccines has increased exponentially over the years. Our children receive more doses of vaccines for more diseases/viruses than we did and even more than our parents or grandparents. It’s not ending in childhood either, vaccines are also being recommended for adults, especially since they are finding that adults haven’t been vaccinated for years upon years.
When your baby is born, after their first medical intervention of vitamin k injection, silver nitrate in the eyes and your own newly implemented TDaP vaccine right after birth-without telling you; you will receive a little booklet showing the current immunization schedule. We’ll break this schedule down a few different ways to understand when and how many vaccines/doses of are recommended.
We use the term recommended lightly because in a majority of cases, vaccination is not presented as a choice.
We’ll present the recommendations the same way as provided by health units, hospitals and doctor’s offices.
Vaccination recommendation is schedule based and while there are schedules for different situations, we will base information off of the general recommended schedule. We did this example for a child residing in Ontario this year. **Note this data only goes up to age 6 and more vaccine recommendation occur after that age as will be explained**
At 2mths old your child would start the vaccination schedule. At 2mths old your child will receive:
DTaP-IPV-Hib – Which is Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and hib. That’s called a 5-in-1. Instead of giving one at a time, this vaccine combines all 5 into one shot.
Pneu-13 – Pneumococcal Disease
And Rot- Rotavirus
At 2mths of age your child will receive 3 vaccines for 7 different strains.
At 4mths of age your child will receive
The same as was given at 2mths
Another 3 vaccines for 7 different strains
At 6mths of age your child will receive
DTaP-IPV-Hib – Again
And more than likely their first flu shot.
That’s 2 possible vaccines for up to 8 different strains **depending on how many the flu shot covers**
There’s a break of 6mths and your child will return at 12mths to receive
MMR – Measles, Mumps and Rubella That’s a 3-in-1.
Men-C –Meningococcal Disease
Pneu -13- Pneumococcal Disease
And quite possibly another flu shot
That’s 3-4 vaccines for 5-8 different strains **again depending on flu shot**
At 15 mths your child receives
One Varicalla – Chicken Pox, vaccine
At 18mths your child will receive
DTaP-IPV-Hib – Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio and Hib. 5-in-1
And possibly another flu shot
1-2 vaccines for 5-8 different strains
Between the ages of 4-6yrs, your child will have another visit and receive
MMRV – Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella **New 4-in-1 that is being added instead of separate mmr and varicella shot**
Tdap – IPV – Tetnus, Diphtheria, Pertussis and Polio. 4-in-1
That’s 2 vaccines for 8 different strains
If you follow by the flue recommendations that’s another 9 flu shots from the last one received at 18mths totalling up to 27 more strains.
So when your child reaches 6yrs old he/she will have received;
Without flu shot- 18 vaccinations – 38 strains
Flu shot – 12 vaccinations – 36 strains
Total with both – 20 vaccinations – 74 strains
By 6 years old
Changes to the schedule happen frequently and depending on you area there are different recommendations. In later years vaccines such as HPV – 3 doses, are recommended between 9-13yrs as are boosters for earlier vaccines given like varicella or tdap. Your doctor or local health unit can provide you with your areas recommended schedule.
Remember that it is not a mandatory schedule, it is recommended. No vaccines are mandatory, it’s against the constitution and you have a choice whether you wish to vaccinate or not.