Is your baby protected from vaccine-preventable diseases? Here's the newborn vaccine schedule recommended by the CDC and AAP for your baby's first months of life.

By Taryn Chapman
Steve Debenport—Getty Images

Your baby will be given a handful of vaccines and supplements in the first months of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the carefully-planned childhood vaccine schedule. Following the schedule in the coming months and years will put your infant on track for life-long immunity to dangerous diseases.

The vaccines recommended for your young baby are closely monitored by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and effectiveness. Here are the vaccines that your baby will receive from birth through two months.

Vaccines Given at Birth

Hepatitis B Vaccine is given before taking your baby home from the hospital. Hepatitis B can cause slow, persistent liver damage in a child. The virus, found in blood and body fluids, can last on a surface for up to a month. Doctors recommend this vaccine for all babies as a preventative to liver disease and cancer from the virus.

Vaccines Given at Two Months

Hepatitis B Vaccine is given to your baby for the second time during the two month check-up.

DTaP Vaccine protects your baby from three life-threatening, toxin-releasing bacterial diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Often found in unsanitary conditions or from improper wound care, tetanus is a severe disease of the nerves that can cause the jaw to lock. Diphtheria affects breathing and the throat in small children and may cause nerve, heart, and kidney damage. Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that mostly affects babies under six months and causes coughing spells that can become severe and potentially deadly.

Getting the vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy is also a great way to help prevent your infant from contracting pertussis.

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib) Vaccine protects your baby from Hib infection. This bacteria can cause several life-threatening illnesses such as pneumonia, skin and throat infections, and meningitis that may lead to permanent brain damage. Kisses, sneezes, and direct contact can pass this debilitating and deadly bacteria to your newborn.

Rotavirus Vaccine (RV) protects your baby from rotavirus, which causes fever, vomiting, cramps, and watery diarrhea. Rotavirus is a highly contagious disease that passes quickly through childcare centers. Severe diarrhea is less common if your child is vaccinated.

IPV, or Inactivated Polio Vaccine, protects your baby from polio, a contagious, debilitating, and potentially deadly disease. This viral respiratory disease can cause anywhere from flu-like symptoms to neurological disease, severe debilitating paralysis, and death. Babies with polio may never recover from nerve damage that can leave limbs completely paralyzed for life. IPV is nearly 99% effective, according to the CDC.

PCV13 Vaccine protects your baby from pneumococcal disease, which may cause pneumonia, infections of the blood, and bacterial meningitis. PCV13 spreads through contact with others, so by getting your baby the vaccine you protect other children, as well.

Taryn Chapman, otherwise known as The Vaccine Mom, is a medical molecular biologist and mother of two. You can find more at www.thevaccinemom.com

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