Join me as I discuss the immunizations commonly administered at the 2 month well visit, how vaccines work, common side effects (and how to treat them) and why we follow a vaccine schedule.
Good morning and welcome back to first breaths to first steps today. I thought I would talk just a little bit about your baby’s first immunizations and what to expect. This seems to be a very common question for new parents, especially with their first baby. And so I just wanted to put some information out there. So this is not really a discussion on whether or not to get immunizations, but more or less, we’re going to talk about which immunizations. Babies typically receive at their first vaccine visit. How they work, why it’s important to get them. We’ll also discuss certain side effects as well as how to treat those side effects. And the importance of following a schedule.
So as some of you may or may not know, I am a physician assistant. I have worked in pediatric care. As well as emergency room pediatric care for over 25 years, I do have three kids of my own and I vaccinated all three of them. I think that this discussion really came to light. I was talking with a client earlier this week and they just had so many questions and concerns surrounding the first set of vaccines. I want you to feel reassured as a mother, I had the same questions. I think having a little bit of knowledge can be a little bit of a. Dangerous thing and can lead to just as many questions as if you knew nothing about vaccines.
So as my disclaimer, this is not meant to take the place of primary care. That’s given to you by your pediatrician. Or a family care practitioner for your baby, but gives you just a good sense and understanding of. Baby’s first vaccines.
I distinctly remember when our oldest got his first vaccines. I was at the appointment and thank goodness, my husband, I am blessed that he would always join me. I just had a million questions and thank goodness. My pediatrician was very patient. And it was like, Bev. Okay. Let’s stop. And let’s answer all these questions just so that you’re not anxious and that you feel good about the decision that you’re making. My right side of my brain, which is trained and understands these disease processes. Was definitely doing backflips as I’m getting ready to vaccinate my baby. But I’m super glad that someone took the time to slow down a little bit. And answer some questions for me.
So this may not answer all of your questions about vaccines. But it may give you a good start as to what questions to ask so that you feel confident Let’s start with which vaccines do we typically get? In the United States, we may follow a different schedule going along the way, but we seem to reach the same spot by four to five years of age. Which is typically the entrance into kindergarten or primary school education. So, although things may vary a little bit from practice to practice or even. Depending on what part of the country you’re in you may follow it, different schedule it’s all to get you to the same place in the end.
I thought it would take you guys through a trip of the vaccines. And give you a little bit of some reasoning, why we give. Those vaccines. the first one I want to talk about is hepatitis B. Typically, this is given in the hospital or at a very initial visit when you’re first seen in your primary care office. It can sometimes be held off until the two week visit. And some practices may even started at two months. Hepatitis B is a virus. Sometimes it can lead to mild. Problems with your liver, but more importantly, it can lead to permanent damage. Causing liver cirrhosis and or liver cancer. This is spread by blood or other body secretions. Most of the time people think, oh, is this iV drug use or just sexually transmitted. It is important to remember that mom can pass hepatitis B to baby. And therefore it’s one of the reasons why we give it at this time.
The second vaccine that I’d like to talk about is. Rotavirus. Rotavirus is not a shot. It’s an oral vaccine. So it’s given in a sweet. Syrup type preparation. It is used to prevent severe vomiting and diarrhea leading to. Dehydration. From a virus called rotavirus. In very rare cases you can see, and this is listed as one in 20,000 to one and a hundred thousand that this vaccine could cause. Bowel blockage or what is termed intussusception but again, this is a very rare complication.
The next three vaccines that I’d like to talk about, include HIB or Haemophilus influenza. D tap or diptheria, tetanus and pertussis. As well as inactivated polio. Sometimes you will see these three vaccines given together in a combination. Called Penta cell. Working in clinical practice. Sometimes providers really appreciated this because it did save their patients. A couple of pokes.
Let’s start with Haemophilus influenza. This is a common bacteria that can cause. Serious infection in kids less than five. It can lead to. Meningitis. Pneumonia. Cellulitis, which is an infection in the skin. And also cause infection in the blood kids that are less than five years of age are more at risk for homonculus. It’s commonly a player in the middle ear causing ear infections. But unfortunately, those ear infections, as well as upper respiratory infections. Can spread. one in 20 children, less than five years of age, that haemophilus infection can be fatal for them.
D tap, which is probably one of the most common vaccines. That’s on the market stands for diptheria, which is the bacteria that tends to cause respiratory problems tetanus, which leads to. Lock jaw or muscle spasms and pertussis, which is known as whooping, cough. These three come together as one preparation. Diptheria has been noted to be fatal in one in five kids, less than five years of age. This is part of the don’t kiss. My baby campaign, especially with adults who may not be up to date. With the protussis, this portion of their vaccine. Protested is whooping cough, which most parents and lay people realize is a. Highly contagious respiratory illness and can be deadly and babies.
The last vaccine that I’d like to talk about is inactivated polio. We used to back in the day, I am. That old of a provider. We used to give polio orally. It came as a little pink. Oral liquid. You talk to your little ones, grandparents, you may hear that they got it on a sugar cube. That was true. We now give it as a shot. The reason we give this is because polio causes paralysis. If you take yourself back in history, You remember Franklin D Roosevelt, one of our presidents in 1921. He contracted polio. Which left him with paralysis at that time, there was no vaccine. As I stated before polio tax, the nervous system and can lead to paralysis. Children less than the age of five or at higher risk of contracting polio. And therefore this is a big reason why the vaccine was formulated.
Just a real quick insight on how vaccines work. What happens is when we are giving the vaccine. It’s not that we are actually physically giving your baby the disease. But the vaccines teach your baby’s body or immune system. To make certain types of protein, which we call antibodies to fight off the disease without making you sick.
What are common side effects that are noted with. vaccine administration. First would be pain, redness. Or swelling at the site. Second would be fever greater than 38 degrees Celsius or a hundred 0.4 Fahrenheit. Third would be stomach or GI issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in appetite. And lastly, irritability and fussiness. Rarely can you see high pitch crying and seizures, but they are a possibility. The first four. Symptoms that I listed pain fever. GI changes and irritability. They’re considered actually signs that the immune response is working. And.
Doing its job.
What can you do for these side effects? Commonly your pediatrician at the two month visit. We’ll talk about dosing acetaminophen. This can be given every four to six hours, do call them for proper dose of your child per weight. The second you can do is cool compresses to the actual shot sites themselves. You can also give tubs soaks in. Lukewarm, not cold, but lukewarm water to help bring down fever as well as sooth the skin. Things that you would want to call your primary care provider about if your baby is having high fever. Inconsolable. Redness at the site greater than 48 hours. That’s larger than quarter size. Or your mom and dad meter is going off and you’re just not comfortable with the way your baby is acting. These are all good signs. To get into your pediatrician and have them recheck.
Why is the vaccine schedule so important? It makes sure that your body’s immune system gets the help it needs to protect against long-term preventable diseases. In a timely fashion. It’s designed to get protection when they need it. And it’s timed to have the best effect at the dose administration.
In 2014, there was a study in the PEDIATRICS journal that showed only 63% of families we’re following a schedule. When parents choose to or elect to engage in an alternative schedule, they’re four times as likely to be behind, which can definitely be dangerous because we’re not offering the protection that the baby needs at critical times. Also following a alternative schedule does make parents have to come in more frequently and possibly exposing their baby to. More diseases that are present in their primary care office.
In summary, we highlighted the vaccines that you will typically see at a two month well visit for. Your newborn. That vaccine schedule includes: hepatitis B. Haemophilus influenza. D tap or diptheria, tetanus and pertussis. Prevnar or pneumococcus PCV 13, inactivated polio and lastly wrote a virus.
Again, as a disclaimer, this is not meant to take the place of your primary care well visit evaluation, but it is meant to give you more information that possibly, if it sparks more questions you can discuss with your provider. Hopefully you found the information in this podcast. Helpful. If you are interested in working with me, one-on-one to help coach you and your new baby from first breaths to first steps. You can contact me at BEVGARRISON.COM. Until next time 📍 be well.