Medications and Vaccinations
Following is an overview of some of the vaccinations your child will need to receive as well as a suggested schedule.
Hepatitis B Vaccination
Hepatitis B is a serious disease which infects and damages the liver. It is transmitted by contact with infected blood or body fluids. If a child under the age of five is infected, he is at high risk of becoming a carrier of the Hepatitis B virus. (One quarter of babies who become carriers die of liver disease or liver cancer.)
To prevent Hepatitis B infection, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a series of three vaccinations. Health care practitioners administer the first shot in their office or clinic during the first months of the baby's life unless the mother is a known carrier of Hepatitis B, in which case the baby will get the first injection in the hospital.
NOTE: The hepatitis vaccine is mandated by law for school entry.
Vitamin K Injection
In humans, Vitamin K is essential for making a blood clot. Newborns have small amounts of Vitamin K, therefore an injection is given soon after birth to prevent excessive bleeding.
Erythromycin Eye Ointment
To avoid the possibility of a serious eye infection, Erythromycin ointment is placed in a newborn's eyes within the first few hours after birth.