A new and simpler vaccine schedule has now been approved to help both parents and doctors know when the right time is to vaccinate their children, but also for pregnant women as well.
It was published Wednesday by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The purpose of the new schedule is to tell parents and doctors when is the correct time to vaccinate children against the 16 infectious diseases for which vaccines are available. One of the big changes makes the schedule easier to read.
Another big change applies to pregnant women. It is now recommended that pregnant women receive a whooping cough (t-dap) shot in the second half of their pregnancy.
The rational behind the new schedule for pregnant woman, is to vaccinate those expecting near the time of delivery to boost immunity, which then passes through the placenta and into the baby. For this reason, the baby will have its mother’s immunity until it can develop its own.
Whooping cough cases hit a 50-year high last year.