The American Academy of Pediatrics has just released their new 2013 schedule recommendations for when to get your children immunized.
Doctors will note, the schedule has been completely redesigned because of the complexity and additional footnote space needed to clarify vaccine recommendations.
One major vaccine schedule change from last year is the administration of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine to adolescents and adults during each pregnancy. This recommendation comes in response to the growing number of national pertussis cases. The AAP says infants are most at risk of contracting pertussis, also known as whooping cough, before they themselves can be immunized.
The Rhode Island Department of Health says pertussis is a contagious infection that affects the lungs and breathing passages. The dry cough can last up to six weeks and cause coughing fits and trouble breathing. Pertussis usually starts with cold-like symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. Children can spit up, vomit, or become exhausted from coughing and in some cases may develop breathing problems, pneumonia, seizures, or brain damage.
With the new schedule change, the AAP says infants can be better protected from the potentially deadly disease if the mother receives the vaccine during each pregnancy.
Follow this link for the complete “Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule – United States, 2013,” published in the February 2013 Pediatrics. As always, speak to your health care professional if you have questions.