When is your child completely protected from diseases while they are being vaccinated?
Vaccinations are a point of argument these days among parents. Some parents are convinced that vaccinations are not needed and have a lot of unnecessary risks. One of the most common myths that spread like wildfire was the idea that some vaccinations lead to autism. We have learned that vaccinations are not the link to autism. Of course, there are other risks that parents fear from vaccinations. Getting vaccinated does not give a child 100 percent protection against a given illness. However, if everybody gets vaccines then this will cause a herd immunity. Herd immunity means that the majority of the people are vaccinated and so everybody is safer and protected from deadly diseases. Many diseases such as polio and measles are not eradicated. They are still around, but herd immunity has protected children.
Parents who choose to vaccinate their children tend to wonder when their child is fully vaccinated. It is important for parents to know when the child is fully protected in case they know they are going to be around kids that are not vaccinated. Sadly, there is no straightforward answer because there are so many diseases.
Many vaccines are given to babies before they are 12 months old. However, the vaccination for measles, mumps, and chickenpox is not given to the baby until they are at least one year old. This is very scary for moms because all three of these diseases are very much present in the United States due to an under-immunized population. Most of the vaccinations given to babies require multiple doses of the vaccine to make sure that they are completely covered. Starting at 2 months old the baby will begin getting vaccines for polio, diphtheria, and pertussis. Babies will also receive the vaccines against Streptococcus pneumonia and Haemophilus influenza Type B, which can cause pneumonia, meningitis and bacterial sepsis. Each dose of the vaccinations will provide some protection from the various diseases, but they are still vulnerable until they reach 15-18 months. As long as the child stays on the schedule provided by the doctor they should be fully vaccinated by 18 months. Each year the children are also encouraged to receive a flu shot. They also should receive their booster shots at age 4 to help reinforce all of the vaccinations that were given to them as babies.
It is a very tough question to answer for parents. It is sad that due to your child's age they aren't completely protected by all of the diseases that are flying around out there. Sadly we can't even rely on herd immunity as much as we should due to the under-immunized population. However, your child should basically be fully vaccinated by 18 months.