Missed Immunizations: Does Your Child Need to Start Over?

My baby has missed a few of his immunizations. Does this mean he has to start over?


Robert Steele

Robert W. Steele, MD, is a board certified pediatrician at St. John's Regional Health Center in Springfield, MO. He graduated from medical... Read more

The recommended schedule of immunizations is not a hard-and-fast schedule. It is based upon the optimum timing immunizations can be given to allow for the greatest protection. Certainly, there are circumstances in which the schedule may be altered.

Children get behind on their shots for a number of reasons. There may be poor access to health care, the family may have moved, the child has a serious illness at the time shots are due, change in insurance companies forces a change in doctors, etc. Then there are times when physicians themselves cause a delay in immunizations because they inappropriately withhold shots due to a minor illness in the child.

The good news is that no matter how delayed the immunizations are, they may be restarted right where they left off. There is no need to restart the immunization series.

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