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Vaccinations Part 1: Immunization Overview

Commentary by Claire Boogaard, MD, MPH, FAAP
Published November 2022

The first 1,000 days after birth are a vulnerable time for a young child’s health, because their naïve immune system is confronted with a multitude of new microorganisms. During the first 6 months after birth, the baby has some protection thanks to their mother’s antibodies (transferred in utero or via breast milk), but until they have been infected or actively immunized, the risk for acute infection and severe consequences from disease remains high. Although there are many methods used to help manage and prevent infectious diseases, this module focuses on one of the most effective strategies: immunization. Following are multiple resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics on immunization during the first 1,000 days after birth, which can help address specific questions that may arise with patient care. You should also consult this point-of-care quick reference from Pediatric Care Online for a quick overview.

There are four parts of this module:
Part 1: Immunization Overview
Part 2: Practical Steps to Providing Immunization
Part 3: Vaccine Hesitancy
Part 4: Vaccine Mandates

Part 1: Immunization Overview — There are various vaccines that are offered to children, and which one is offered depends on the age, clinical status, and geographic vulnerability of each child. This section gives an overview of childhood vaccines to help understand the best options for your patients.

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