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Starting at 2 months after birth, premature infants need all the recommended immunizations that full-term infants get. The one
immunization that your preemie may not get on schedule is the
hepatitis B vaccine, which is usually given at birth.
This vaccine doesn't work as well in very small preemies and may be given one month after birth if the mother does not have chronic hepatitis B infection.
information about recommended immunizations, see the topic Immunizations.
It's dangerous for a newborn to get
pertussis (whooping cough) or the flu. If you have not yet had the vaccines for these diseases, get immunized as soon as possible. Ask teens and adults who have never had a
pertussis (Tdap) shot to get a dose at least 2 weeks before being in close contact with your baby. It's important for adults and children to get the yearly flu vaccine too. These vaccines can help protect your baby from severe problems from these diseases.
When your infant is 6 months old
(chronological age), he or she can start getting a yearly flu shot. This is
especially important for babies who have
chronic lung disease.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Premature infants,
particularly those who have lung problems, have a higher risk of developing
respiratory syncytial virus infection than full-term
infants. Your infant's doctor may recommend a monthly injection of the RSV
monoclonal antibody during the winter RSV season,
which greatly reduces the risk of severe infection and hospitalization. For
more information, see the topic Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
February 16, 2012
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & William Atkinson, MD, MPH - Public Health and Preventive Medicine
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