Just like adults, babies can contract viral infections from the moment they’re born. But doctors can’t administer most vaccines until the baby is at least 12 months old. It is thus up to the parents and grandparents to keep the child safe during the first year. If you’re expecting a grandchild, these are the five vaccines for new grandparents you need to get.
1. Flu Shot
Up to 20% of people of all ages develop the symptoms of the flu each year. Because babies can’t get the flu shot until they’re six months old, this is one of the essential vaccines for new grandparents. As a rule, you should get it once a year, just before the flu season starts.
The MMR vaccine protects from measles, mumps, and rubella. All three are highly contagious and can cause many serious health complications. Even if you’ve already received this vaccine, its effects may wear off after a while. It is thus important to get it again before your grandchild is born.
Tdap is one of the most important vaccines for new grandparents. Among other things, it protects your grandchild and yourself from whooping cough. Children can only get it six months after birth. After that, they should get them again every ten years at most.
To protect your grandchild from chickenpox, you need to get the shingles vaccine. It doesn’t matter if you’ve ever had chickenpox yourself. The CDC recommends that people over the age of 50 get one dose of the shot.
The risk of pneumonia is particularly high for young kids and adults over the age of 65. There are two pneumonia vaccines for new grandparents. To prevent this lung infection, you should get a single dose of both these vaccines.
Talk to your doctor if you need more information about antiviral vaccines. They’ll look at your medical history and tell you which ones you need to get before your grandchild is born.