Immunization is by far the best way to prevent pertussis (whooping cough):
- In the United States, the recommended pertussis vaccine for children is called DTaP. For maximum protection against pertussis, children need 5 DTaP shots.
The Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) recommends that the first three shots are given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. The fourth shot is given between 15 and 18 months. A fifth shot is given when a child enters school, at 4 to 6 years of age.
Polio has not been reported in the United States for many years, primarily due to routine vaccination that began in the 1950s. Unfortunately, polio has not been fully eliminated throughout the world, and the CDC still recommends that all US children receive a full schedule of IPV (inactivated poliovirus vaccine)
The CDC recommends that children receive 4 doses of IPV at the following ages
- A dose at 2 months
- A dose at 4 months
- A dose at 6-18 months
- A booster dose at 4-6 years
Infection caused by hepatitis A virus is the most commonly reported vaccine-preventable hepatitis infection in the United States. Infection caused by hepatitis A virus is usually mild but, when it is severe, it can cause children to miss many days of school. Approximately 1 in 5 infected children under the age of 5 years of age are hospitalized.
You may not be able to tell if your child or a playmate has hepatitis A. Children who get hepatitis A may have fever, jaundice (Yellowing of the skin and eyes), tiredness, and loss of appetite. Others may not have any signs or symptoms but can still spread the disease.
Hepatitis A virus is spread through contact with stool, person to person contact, or by eating or drinking contaminated foods or liquids. Because young children are often not careful with personal hygiene, hepatitis A can spread easily, putting children in school and play settings at risk. For children, the first dose of vaccine should be given at 12 to 23 months of age. Children who are not vaccinated by 2 years of age can be vaccinated at later visits.. Two doses of the vaccine are needed for lasting protection. These doses should be given at least six months apart. Hepatitis A vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.