Immunizations for Premature Infants
Starting at 2 months after birth, Reference premature infants Opens New Window need all the recommended Reference immunizations Opens New Window that full-term infants get. The one immunization that your preemie may not get on schedule is the Reference hepatitis B Opens New Window 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.
For more information about recommended immunizations, see the topic Immunizations.
Tdap and flu (influenza) vaccines for close contacts
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 Reference tetanus Opens New Window, Reference diphtheria Opens New Window, and Reference pertussis Opens New Window (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 Reference chronic lung disease Opens New Window.
Extra protection for your premature infant
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Premature infants, particularly those who have lung problems, have a higher risk of developing severe Reference respiratory syncytial virus Opens New Window infection than full-term infants. Your infant's doctor may recommend a monthly injection of the RSV Reference monoclonal antibody Opens New Window 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) Infection.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference February 16, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference William Atkinson, MD, MPH - Public Health and Preventive Medicine