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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
October 2019

Why should my baby get so many vaccines before 24 months of age?


Vaccine Education Center Parents PACK newsletter October 2019New parents have barely had a chance to “meet” their baby before they are asked to permit that baby to get a hepatitis B vaccine. Then, often while still on maternity leave, a slew more — up to six doses at 8 weeks of age. By the baby’s first birthday, more than 20 doses. Many of these doses are to protect against diseases parents have never had, or even known others who have. It is no wonder some parents balk at these requests, or at least ask, “Why should we consent to this?” 

Understanding why vaccines are given so early in life and why so many doses of some vaccines are necessary can help make sense of this important parental decision. At the heart of both of these questions is the immunization schedule, so let’s take a closer look. 

Read the complete article to find:

  • Three reasons hepatitis B vaccine is recommended shortly after birth
  • Why so many vaccines are given at two-,  four-, and six-months of age
  • What maternal antibodies have to do with the vaccines given around 12- to 15-months of age

News & Notes

The Washington Post offers videos answering common vaccine-related questions

The Washington Post has new videos addressing common questions about vaccines. Called “The Vaccines Project,” Post reporter Anna Rothschild interviews museum curators and researchers to address each question. Episode one starts with some history, but Rothschild quickly moves to addressing vaccine ingredients and vaccine safety in episodes two and three, respectively.

Check out the series today.

Essay contest winners announced

The winners of the 2019 Maurice R. Hilleman essay contest recently traveled to Philadelphia to accept their awards, learn about work at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and share their essays. Students who entered the contest answered the question, “How would the world be different if Dr. Hilleman did not live the life he did?” in honor of the 100th birthday of the most prolific vaccine inventor in history. Dr. Hilleman helped to create more than half of the routinely recommended childhood vaccines; his efforts are estimated to save about 8 million lives every year.  

Just the Vax Trivia Corner

What is the difference in immunity from breastfeeding and immunity from vaccination?   

  1. Vaccines provide long-term immunologic memory whereas breastfeeding provides short-term immunologic memory.
  2. There is no difference — breastfeeding and vaccination both provide long-term immunologic memory.
  3. Vaccines provide short-term immunologic memory whereas breastfeeding provides long-term immunologic memory.
  4. There is no difference — breastfeeding and vaccination both provide short-term immunologic memory.
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