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Tuesday July 21, 2015

Vaccines You Need Before Visiting a Newborn

Christmas
Meeting a friend or relative’s newborn soon? In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that newborns will not receivecertain vaccinations until they are a bit older. You need to think about your immunizations so you don’t expose your new favorite person to infectious diseases.

Before meeting that bundle of joy, chat with a healthcare provider and make sure you’re up to date on your routine vaccination schedule. Here are a few to be aware of.

Tdap
Because it was only approved in 2005, many people aren’t aware they need this vaccine. Even if you have received the shot, a booster is required every 10 years. TDAP protects against three diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (or whooping cough). The last one is especially dangerous for newborns; they’re at a higher risk for life-threatening complications from whooping cough than any other demographic.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella
Newborns receive the first dose of most vaccines around one or two months, but the first MMR dose isn’t recommended until twelve months; that’s a long time to be vulnerable. With the recent spike in measles outbreaks, it’s more important than ever to be up to date on this vaccine.

Influenza
This is another dose most infants don’t get until six months. Many adults skip their flu shot(adherence was only 46.2% during the 2014-2015 flu season), but this is one of the reasons it’s so important to get your annual dose. Newborns are at high risk for life threatening complications from the flu, and you want to avoid passing it on to them.

Varicella
This shot protects against the chicken pox, but even if you’ve already had the chickenpox, make sure you’re up to date. You may be immune to the disease, but you could still carry it and pass it on to the child. This immunization isn’t recommended until twelve months, so infants are vulnerable to the illness for an especially long time.

Meningococcal
This is a trio of shots that protect against bacterial meningitis. The first dose isn’t recommended for children until they’re 11 years old; infants have a higher risk than any other group of developing a severe infection. These two facts mean one thing for you: Make sure you’re up to date on these immunizations. You’ll protect not only infants but also all kids who can’t be immunized yet.

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