Each year, various pediatric specialty groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), update the list of vaccinations children need and when they should receive them. These experts may add new vaccines or change old timetables to reflect the latest research. Discuss the following updates with your child’s pediatrician:
- Rotavirus vaccine. This vaccine prevents viral gastroenteritis, a stomach and intestinal infection that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting, fever and dehydration. The vaccine should be given to infants who are at least 6 weeks old but younger than 32 weeks.
- Flu vaccine. Children ages 6 months to 59 months can be given a yearly vaccine by injection. Beginning at age 2 years, children can be given the vaccine as a nasal spray instead.
- Chicken pox booster. A second shot of the varicella vaccine is recommended to prevent chicken pox. The booster offers children even greater protection against the disease than one shot. The AAP recommends giving the first dose at age 12 months to 18 months and giving the booster between ages 4 and 6 years.
- HPV vaccine. This vaccine prevents infection by several strains of human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer. It’s the latest addition to the vaccination schedule. The three-dose series is recommended for girls ages 11 to 12 years with a “catch-up” vaccination for ages 13 to 18.