One of the cornerstones of pediatric care is keeping children and teens on schedule with immunizations. Vaccines are designed to work in specific windows of a child’s development, and often need multiple doses to provide full protection.
Every year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) works with the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to review and update immunization schedules. The 2018 schedules were released last month. H. Cody Meissner, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Disease, authored a statement reinforcing the importance of this annual review.
“Following the immunization schedule is the most important way to protect children as they grow into adulthood by keeping them free from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
The review looks at new vaccines licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration, along with effectiveness of existing vaccines and trends in disease outbreaks. Some of the changes for 2018:
- Since 2006, there has been an increase in the cases of mumps. Two doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine have been shown effective in preventing mumps. New guidance indicates a third dose may be helpful during a mumps outbreak.
- An annual influenza vaccine is recommended for children starting at 6 months.
- 11- or 12-year-olds should receive two doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, also known as Gardasil. 15-year-olds should receive three doses.
Our team at the Portland Pediatric Group recommends this AAP immunization schedule, beginning at birth and running through age 16. This schedule has been thoroughly vetted by pediatric experts for safety and effectiveness. We can help you maintain accurate records of immunizations we administer for your child.
Some parents may have concerns about child immunization; we welcome your questions, as we want you to be comfortable with any treatment for your child. You can learn more about the immunization schedule in the Immunizations section on our Services page. We show each recommended vaccine by age, linked to further background material on each.