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Last Updated: May 29th, 2012 - 03:07:02 

Kids Health  

August - National Immunization Month
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Apr 20, 2008, 16:31

August is designated as National Immunization Month to spotlight the importance of keeping your immunizations up to date. The Center for Disease Control has put together a number of charts to help you keep on top of the vaccines that you and your children need. It’s gotten rather complicated over the past few years, as many additional shots have been added to the requirements for kids.

As an adult you may be in need of some shots as well. Many of the immunizations that kids now take for granted, didn’t even exist when many of us were children. It’s worth checking out what is available and what you need. The diseases that these vaccines protect against are pretty nasty and better off avoided.

Vaccines became a required part of childhood in the early 1950s, when four vaccines were introduced: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and smallpox. Luckily for kids back then, three of the four were combined into a single injection. This meant that kids only had to receive five shots by the time they were two years old, and they never had to receive more than one per doctor’s visit.

Kids are not as lucky on that score nowadays. By the time kids are two, kids now receive as many as 20 vaccinations, sometimes receiving as many as five shots in one visit! Ugh! The good news is that kids today are protected from a long list of dangerous diseases. The bad news is that there are just too many shots. This will hopefully change in the next few years in two ways; there are more vaccinations being added each year, which unfortunately means more shots, but they are also working on a number of combined vaccines which means less shots. Hopefully the final outcome will mean more protection from disease with less shots. Kids hate feeling like pincushions.

We’ve assembled a set of quick links to a number of charts from the CDC to help you find the information you need. Please compare your records to the charts to see which vaccines you and your children may need. This is truly a time when it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Childhood Immunization Scheduler Plan out your child's shot schedule with this handy tool. Source: Center For Disease Control

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