happy baby getting routine vaccination from nurseChildhood vaccinations help young bodies learn how to fight germs. They are critical in preventing the spread of many different diseases, from chickenpox to polio. Although it can take weeks for the immune system to begin building its defenses, the benefits of some vaccinations can last a lifetime.

Core Medicine of Idaho is the Boise area’s go-to clinic for comprehensive health care. Our experienced team of medical professionals can help you protect your child’s health and well-being, ensuring that they are ready to start school and are protected from a range of serious illnesses. 

The Advantages of Vaccination

We are fortunate to live in a time of medical advancements that allow us to protect our children from diseases that might have killed them or left them disabled less than a century ago. Getting your children vaccinated according to recommended guidelines protects them as well as the whole community.

The benefits of obtaining scheduled vaccinations include the following.

Diseases of the Past Are Not Completely Gone

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children receive a wide range of vaccinations, including immunization for diseases like polio, mumps, and rubella. This may seem somewhat counterintuitive since these illnesses are no longer common in the United States.

However, serious illnesses still pose a threat, even when they are rarely reported on American soil. In recent years, children in the United States have been diagnosed with previously irradicated conditions, like polio. Immunization can mitigate this risk, keeping your child safe no matter where they may go or who they might meet.

Vaccines Are Safe and Effective

Vaccines are thoroughly tested before they are given to children. In most cases, scientists spend years—sometimes even decades—assessing all available information before releasing an immunization to the public. Before administering an immunization, Core Medicine of Idaho’s health care team will explain a vaccine’s purpose as well as any potential adverse effects.

Fortunately, most scheduled childhood vaccinations have been in circulation for a very long time. Serious side effects are very rare and usually pale in comparison to the consequences of a life-altering disease like hepatitis or polio.

Immunizations Protect Your Friends, Family, and Neighbors 

Vaccinations are a community health endeavor. Every immunization works to ensure that you, your family, and your neighbors can stay healthy in the event of an outbreak. You never know when you might encounter a vulnerable person. Making sure your child is fully vaccinated protects the whole community.

Idaho’s Vaccination Schedule

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare recommends that children receive certain immunizations on a set schedule. This schedule is reviewed and approved by the federal CDC. Timing is essential because many vaccinations require multiple doses, which can only be administered after a certain period of time has elapsed.

For most children, vaccinations should be received on the following schedule:

  • Birth. Children usually receive their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth.
  • Two months. At two months, most children are immunized for DTaP—diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis—pneumococcal disease (PCV), Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib), polio, and rotavirus. They also receive a second dose of hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Four months. Children receive additional doses of DTaP, PCV, Hib, polio, and rotavirus vaccines.
  • Six months. Halfway into their first year, children are again immunized for hepatitis B, DTaP, PCV, polio, and rotavirus.
  • Nine months. Most children do not require any scheduled vaccines at nine months. However, children who are late on their schedule may receive initial inoculations or late boosters.
  • 12 months. At one year, babies are immunized for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), PCV, varicella, and hepatitis A.
  • 15 months. Children receive fewer vaccinations at 15 months: a DTaP booster and another Hib shot.
  • 18 months. Infants receive their final dose of hepatitis A vaccine at 18 months.
  • 4-5 years. Children receive their final doses of DTaP, MMR, varicella, and polio vaccinations.
  • 11-12 years. At around 11 years, most children receive their last Tdap immunizations. Tdap is similar to the DTaP vaccine but is administered to older children and adults. Some may also be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, or HPV, a common virus that can cause cancers of the cervix and throat. Contrary to popular misconception, medical professionals typically recommend HPV immunizations for both boys and girls.
  • Annually. Medical professionals usually recommend that children and adults receive annual immunizations against influenza and, in some cases, novel coronavirus.

Idaho’s Vaccination Requirements for Public School Students

Idaho typically requires that public school students meet certain immunization requirements before they may begin attending classes. This is because when children are put together in a group setting, there is always a potential for the spread of disease and illness.

Requirements vary in accordance with a child’s age and grade as follows:

  • Kindergarten through 6th grade: DTaP, MMR, polio, hepatitis B, varicella, hepatitis A.
  • Seventh grade through 11th grade: DTaP, MMR, polio, hepatitis B, varicella, Tdap, MenACWY.
  • 12th grade: DTaP, MMR, polio, hepatitis B, varicella, hepatitis A, Tdap, MenACWY.

Scheduling a Vaccination Appointment With Core Medicine of Idaho

Core Medicine of Idaho’s family medicine clinic in Caldwell offers vaccines to existing patients as part of their routine and scheduled care. Our highly experienced team of medical professionals is willing to work with parents’ needs and concerns, answering questions about the efficacy of vaccines and putting their minds at ease about their potential risks.

We also provide booster services to adult patients and older children, including immunizations against illnesses like influenza, shingles, and COVID-19.