Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Will my child need a pediatric follow up after his receiving his Hepatitis vaccine?"
I realize he'll need more vaccines in the future, but I want to know if he'll need one after Hepatitis.
Pediatric vaccination has been a very controversial topic in the news in recent years, thanks to claims that some vaccines may have negative side effects. It is important to know that there is no reputable evidence that supports this--and it has been extensively studied! What we do know is that vaccines are one of the best ways to protect your child's health, since many of the diseases for which we vaccinate children were leading causes of pediatric death and disease prior to the develop of the vaccines. When it comes to hepatitis, vaccines are available for both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A. The most important one is probably Hepatitis B, since this is an (almost always) incurable disease that can cause liver failure or liver cancer but is easily preventable with the vaccine. Hepatitis A is a food-borne illness and, while not fun to catch, is typically a more limited infection that does not cause the long term effects of Hepatitis B. In terms of follow up, your son won't necessarily need a follow-up with his pediatrician following a hepatitis vaccination, but as I'm sure you are aware, the hepatitis vaccine is a series requiring more than one injection. It is important to make sure that he receives all of the injections in the series to ensure proper immunity. The vaccination schedule typically coincides with the recommended schedule of pediatric well-child visits, so he will likely be examined by his pediatrician at some point while receiving the vaccinations. Talk to your pediatrician for more information.
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