Mighty Blog

Childhood vaccinations: critical protection for our kids and community

As a parent or caregiver this time of year, you’ve probably already taken care of a sick child; visited the emergency room due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu or COVID-19; deep-scrubbed your carpet after your kid’s bout with a stomach bug, or a combination of these issues. If you’re reading this, these examples are likely bringing back some parenthood memories – or you’re looking for ways to avoid making them. While nothing is guaranteed in life, childhood vaccines are proven to be safe and effective at reducing serious illness and preventing death.

We get it, you want to make the best decisions for your child’s well-being, especially with their health and vaccines. As The Kid Experts®, Children’s Minnesota urges all families to keep their kids updated on their immunizations. In January 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its latest recommended immunization schedule for babies and kids up to 18 years old.

Dr. Elizabeth Placzek

Dr. Elizabeth Placzek, a pediatrician at Children’s Minnesota, cares for young patients every day and routinely answers parents’ and caregivers’ questions about vaccines. Dr. Placzek spoke with KARE 11 about the CDC’s new vaccine schedule and also shared her insights on the importance of childhood vaccines.

New recommendations from the CDC for pediatric RSV in 2024

The CDC’s 2024 immunization schedule includes new recommendations for RSV protection for babies. RSV is a virus that causes an infection in the lungs and breathing passages and can be dangerous for infants and young children.

You may remember in 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the RSV treatment, Beyfortus, for infants and newborns. Children’s Minnesota patient families should keep in mind that at the time this blog was published, there is still a very limited supply of Beyfortus for newborns and older infants (up to 8 months of age) nationally. Read more about what families should know about the new RSV treatment for babies and toddlers.

Why is it so important to follow childhood vaccine schedules?

Childhood vaccinations are critical not just for the child, but also for the community. Vaccines are safe and proven effective at protecting people against preventable diseases and death. Consider this, vaccines are not just essential for the health of your child, but also for your family, friends and community. Childhood vaccines play a crucial role in protecting the health of others; like grandparents, playmates, or those you know and love who have chronic disease and are at high risk of complications from common infections. The protections go beyond the current top-of-mind vaccines like for COVID-19, flu and RSV.

Children’s Minnesota urges parents not to wait to get vaccinations and routine care. Caregivers have the power to also protect their children against serious diseases like measles, cancers caused by HPV and whooping cough.

Support for the CDC’s immunization schedule

The CDC’s 2024 child and adolescent immunization schedule is recommended by its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The schedule is also approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American Academy of Physician Associates, and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, according to the CDC.

As both a mom and a pediatrician, Dr. Placzek urges families to take the necessary steps to protect their kids and communities. It’s worth repeating it one last time: Childhood vaccines are proven to be safe and effective at helping prevent death and reduce serious illness. You can learn more about other vital childhood vaccines here.