What’s Important Pediatric Vaccines

Table of Contents


  • Children are more vulnerable to diseases.
  • Vaccination prevents 2.5 million deaths annually.
  • One in seven child deaths can be prevented.
  • Education is particularly important for parents.
  • Education includes information about vaccines and diseases.

Childhood vaccination is important because young immune systems are more vulnerable to diseases and illnesses. According to the World Health Organization, vaccination prevents 2.5 million deaths annually, with 100% immunization being able to prevent one of seven deaths among young children (Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, n.d.). Education about vaccines and diseases that they prevent is especially relevant to parents to support the well-being of their children.


  • Highly contagious, airborne disease.
  • People with weakened immune systems face higher risks.
  • Vaccine is highly effective.
  • Administered to all children at 12 to 15 months.
  • Education includes information on symptoms and prevention.

Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease, which spreads from one person to another through coughs and sneezes. Increasing age and immunosuppression are the most important risk factors, while in children they include the presence of asthma and the use of steroids. In 1995, the vaccine was introduced, which lead to a 97% decline in varicella cases among children between 19–35 months (Hamborsky et al., 2015). The vaccine is administered to all children without contraindications at 12 to 15 months of age (Hamborsky et al., 2015). Varicella education includes informing patients on the signs and symptoms of the disease, infection prevention, and vaccine side effects.

Hepatitis A

  • Highly contagious short-term liver infection.
  • Spread from close, personal contact.
  • Vaccine is highly effective.
  • Children are vaccinated at 12 through 23 months.
  • Education focuses on infection prevention measures.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious, short-term liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus and spread from person to person. Groups at increased risk for hepatitis A include international travelers, homosexuals, and users of illegal drugs (Hamborsky et al., 2015). The vaccine shows 100% percent effectiveness among children 2 to 18 years of age living in communities with a high disease rate (Hamborsky et al., 2015). According to CDC recommendations, children are vaccinated at 12 through 23 months of age. Education primarily includes information on measures that help to prevent getting or spreading the disease.

Hepatitis B

  • Viral infection that attacks the liver.
  • Sexually transmitted; the risk increases in the preteen years.
  • Vaccine is 80% to 100% effective.
  • Recommended for all infants; administered in three doses.
  • Knowledge of infection risks is crucial in education.

Hepatitis B is a highly contagious, sexually transmitted infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver. Launched in 1986, the hepatitis B vaccine is 80% to 100% effective in preventing infection (Hamborsky et al., 2015). Vaccination is recommended for all infants soon after birth and consists of three intramuscular doses scheduled with 2-month intervals (Hamborsky et al., 2015). Education includes informing parents about the importance of hepatitis B vaccination, its symptoms, risks, and transmission prevention.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

  • Most common sexually transmitted disease.
  • Can lead to cervical cancer.
  • Sexual behavior is the main risk factor.
  • Vaccination recommended for children at age 11 or 12.
  • Education is focused on promoting safe sexual practices.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States that can lead to the development of cervical cancer. Risky sexual behavior is the primary risk factor, with persistent infections increasing the risk of cancer development. Routine vaccination is recommended for patients at age 11 or 12 before any exposure to HPV through sexual contact (Hamborsky et al., 2015). Education primarily includes sex education of parents and children and the promotion of safe sexual practices.


  • Highly infectious viral illness.
  • Affects all age groups.
  • Outbreaks typically occur in the fall.
  • Annual vaccination is recommended.
  • Education focuses on how to avoid getting sick.

Influenza is a highly infectious viral illness that affects all age groups, with the risk of complications increased among the older population, children, and persons with underlying medical conditions. Children typically have the highest attack rates during community outbreaks of influenza. According to the CDC recommendations, children should get an influenza vaccine every year in the fall, starting when they are 6 months old (Flu (Influenza), n.d.). Children should be educated on how to protect themselves from influenza.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis

  • Potentially serious bacterial diseases.
  • Can be safely prevented with vaccines.
  • DTaP is a combination vaccine against all three diseases.
  • Administered to children from 2 months to 6 years.
  • Education is focused on handling potential side effects.

Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are potentially serious bacterial diseases that can be safely prevented with vaccines. DTaP vaccine is administered to children under 7 years of age, with other types of vaccines available for older children and adults. DTaP is given in five doses from 2 months to 6 years of age. The vaccine has a risk of side effects that include soreness and swelling, pain, headache, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache. Education for parents includes recommendations on how to take care of the child after immunization.


  • Contagious diarrheal disease.
  • Common cause of severe gastroenteritis.
  • Common among children in child care settings.
  • Vaccination starts at 2 months.
  • Education focuses on prevention measures.

Rotavirus is a contagious diarrheal disease, which is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and children. Rotavirus infections are common in children ages 3 to 35 months, particularly those who spend time in child care settings (Rotavirus, n.d.). The vaccine was licensed in 1998 and is claimed to avert 45,000 hospitalizations annually (Hamborsky et al., 2015). It is administered to all infants without a contraindication in a 2-dose or 3-dose series starting at the age of 2 months (Hamborsky et al., 2015). Education focuses on the measures that can be taken to limit the spread of the infection.


(n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

Hamborsky, J., Kroger, A., & Wolfe, S. (Eds.). (2015). Epidemiology and prevention of vaccine preventable diseases (13th ed.). Public Health Foundation.

(n.d.). World Health Organization. Web.

(n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Web.

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