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About Vaccines

The physicians of Bethesda Pediatrics firmly believe in the safety, efficacy, and usefulness of vaccinations in general.  Our goal is to ensure that your child is adequately and appropriately protected against many preventable infectious diseases.  We strongly recommend adhering to the immunization schedules published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

AAP Vaccine Schedule 0-18 years

AAP Vaccine “Catch Up” Schedule (for patients starting late or are > 1 month behind schedule)

As indicated in the above schedules, any individual vaccine may be given over a span of time.  Our office check up schedule with associated vaccines (and/or tests) is as follows:

Birth Hepatitis B #1
2 Weeks Metabolic Screen if needed
1 Month Hepatitis B #2
2 Months Pentacel* (DTaP, Hib, IPV), PCV13, Rotateq #1
4 Months Pentacel* (DTaP, Hib, IPV), PCV13, Rotateq #2
6 Months Pentacel* (DTaP, Hib, IPV), PCV13, Rotateq #3
9 Months Hepatitis B #3, CBC, Lead Screen
12 Months Varivax #1, Hib #4, PCV13 #4
15 Months MMR #1, Hepatitis A #1
18 Months DTaP #4
2 Years Hepatitis A #2
4 Years MMRV*, IPV #4, DTaP #5
5 Years Tuberculosis Screen
11 Years Tdap #1, Menactra #1, HPV Series
16 Years Menactra #2

*Pentacel is a combination vaccine comprised of DTaPHib, and IPV.
*MMRV is a combination vaccine comprised of MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) and Varivax (Chickenpox). 
We strongly recommend utilizing combination vaccines whenever possible in order to reduce the number of injections per visit.

We additionally recommend annual influenza vaccinations for children age 6 months and older.  For more detailed information on flu vaccines, please click here.

Patients who have transferred to Bethesda Pediatrics from another office may have been on a slightly different check up and/or immunization schedule.  Your physician will review your child’s previous medical records and make appropriate recommendations that are consistent with our standard of care.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) publishes a “Vaccine Information Statement” for every immunization we administer, which describes the preventable disease and details the benefits and risks of the vaccine.  Copies are available in our office at all times and are provided for your review with each vaccination.  You may see the CDC’s main page of all Vaccine Information Statements or click on any individual vaccine in the table above for its corresponding VIS.

As a group we discourage using alternate vaccination schedules.  There is no scientific evidence that supports spacing out or delaying vaccines or following any available alternate vaccination schedule.  The recommended schedules are ones that are designed to provide protection at a time when children are most vulnerable to certain diseases while working best with the responsiveness of a child’s immune system. We encourage you to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have with your regular physician.  We are your primary resource for information and guidance and your partner in raising healthy children!  Under certain circumstances your doctor may agree to make minor modifications to your child’s vaccine schedule in order to accommodate and be respectful of your requests.  However, at times you may be required to sign a standard “Refusal to Vaccinate” form when we feel it is indicated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is also a useful resource, and they have a web page for parents specifically devoted to addressing concerns about vaccine safety.

Should you ever be concerned that your child has had a significant side effect resulting from a vaccination, we will assist you in accessing and utilizing the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.