Not only are vaccinations required for most childcare facilities and schools,
they are vital to protecting children from diseases caused by viruses
and bacteria, like measles, mumps, polio and whooping cough. But what
happens if your child falls behind on receiving these important shots?
Dr. Ellen Davis, pediatrician with CaroMont Pediatric Partners in Gastonia,
answers some common questions about the importance of childhood immunizations.
When should my child receive their vaccinations?
Childhood vaccinations are most effective when given on time, and at the
right age. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
recommends specific vaccines at specific ages on their website, but requirements can vary by state. While it may seem
confusing and overwhelming, a trusted pediatrician can guide you through
what vaccinations your child needs and when they need them.
Yes, children do fall behind for different reasons, especially in the last
several years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a parent, making and keeping
well visits with your child’s pediatrician can ensure they are appropriately
Are vaccines safe?
Yes. Vaccines ensure that a child’s natural immune system will recognize
and fight a variety of diseases not just now, but into adulthood. Additionally,
vaccines don’t just lower their risk of catching a disease, but
keeps other children who come in contact with them safe, too.
Historically speaking, vaccines have eradicated some diseases like smallpox
and significantly decreased the severity of others like measles and COVID-19.
All vaccines go through lengthy, mandated processes before they are approved
for use and are continually monitored for safety and efficacy. Most childhood
vaccines are well over 90% effective in preventing diseases like polio,
mumps, rubella and others.
What should I do if my child is behind on recommended vaccines?
A pediatrician will be able to assist and ensure catching up is as easy
and comfortable as possible. You don’t need to figure out which
vaccines you’ve missed or what vaccine should come next. The most
important first step is to make an appointment with a provider who will
help you get back on track. We will review the immunizations delivered
and make recommendations on how to catch up in a way that is best for
you and your little one. Often, children can get caught up on any overdue
vaccinations in one appointment.
Well visits are so important for you and your child. As a pediatrician,
I partner with parents to make an individualized care plan. Their ongoing
health and development is important to me and I want to ensure you, as
a parent, can be confident that they will continue to grow and thrive.
Dr. Davis sees patients at CaroMont Pediatric Partners
in Gastonia and was named a 2022 Top Doctor by Charlotte Magazine. With two convenient locations and an after-hours nurse line, CaroMont Pediatric
Partners provides the kind of care that can help you and your little one
feel better, faster.
Visit our website for more information.