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  • My Child Missed A Dose Of Her Vaccination. Do We Start All Over Again?

    If your child misses a dose, she doesn’t need to start over a new series of doses.
    by Kate Borbon .
My Child Missed A Dose Of Her Vaccination. Do We Start All Over Again?
  • Vaccines have been proven effective in shielding children from diseases that can cause harmful complications. While some vaccines need to be given only once, others require multiple doses to provide full protection. Unfortunately, parents might sometimes forget about this and miss their child’s schedule for the next dose. Below, learn more about missed vaccinations and what you can do about them.

    Why kids may miss their vaccinations

    Children miss their vaccination for different reasons. One possible cause could be sickness at the time when a child is scheduled to get immunized.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a child with a mild illness — low-grade fever, a cold, runny nose, or cough, an ear infection, or mild diarrhea — may still get vaccinated since a mild illness does not affect how her body reacts to the vaccine. The CDC adds that there is no health benefit to delaying your child’s vaccination if she has a mild illness; instead, she should receive her immunizations according to the recommended schedule.


    However, a child who has a moderate or serious illness (with or without fever) will have to wait until she is well to be immunized, which can result in missed vaccinations. “Serious illness” can refer to a chronic health condition (e.g., cancer), a weakened immune system (caused by, for example, undergoing chemotherapy or taking certain medications after a transplant), or a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of a vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine.

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    Meanwhile, Scientific American writes the reasons behind delayed or missed vaccinations usually fall into one of two categories. A parent intentionally delays her child’s immunization or second the child’s family deals with issues that make it hard for her to get vaccinated on time.

    For example, family physician Anna Saporito tells Scientific American a lot of her patients are in abusive relationships, working multiple jobs, dealing with serious disorders, or even all three, while some don’t believe vaccines are effective or say these are unnecessary.

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    What to do if your child misses her vaccinations

    If your child has a missed vaccination, don’t panic — it’s still possible to get her caught up on her immunizations. Your biggest question might be, “Does my child have to start over a series of doses for whatever vaccine she missed?” The answer is no, as pediatrician Dr. Rodaliza Gumboc says in a previous SmartParenting.com.ph article.

    For example, three months have passed after your child's original schedule for a second dose. What do you do? Bring your child to her doctor to receive the dose as soon as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the doses your child previously received will still count.

    In another Smart Parenting article, pediatrician Dr. Cerelyn E. Dacula tells Smart Parenting an incomplete vaccination does not give optimal protection. This means you need to make sure your child receives all the recommended doses of a vaccine, regardless of any missed vaccinations.


    “Dapat kung magpapabakuna, kukumpletuhin yung doses at the right schedule,” Dr. Dacula explains.

    That said, it is still better to avoid missed vaccinations and follow the recommended vaccination schedule. Here in the Philippines, you may refer to the 2019 immunization schedule developed by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) in cooperation with the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV), which also contains a catch-up schedule for those with missed vaccinations.

    It's crucial to follow the schedule because doing so will help you ensure that your child is protected from various types of vaccine-preventable diseases. “Base sa mga pag-aaral, ‘pag binigay siya sa mga edad beyond the recommendation hindi na siya ganoon ka-effective,” says Dr. Gumboc.

    In a column for BabyCenter, Dr. Saroja Balan, a pediatrician and neonatologist, explains that because the immunity for some diseases wears away with time, multiple doses and/or booster shot of a vaccine may sometimes be necessary. Missed vaccinations or doses can leave your child unprotected from certain diseases that can lead to devastating complications.

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    How to keep track of your child’s vaccinations

    One way to avoid missed vaccinations and make sure your child gets all the vaccine doses she needs is to keep an immunization record. Dr. Balan recommends recording the dates when your child is scheduled to have her next vaccination and the relevant interval between doses. Again, you may refer to the schedule prepared by the PPS, PIDSP, and PFV for this information.

    Another tool that can help you avoid missed vaccinations is an app that will help you monitor your child’s immunizations. An example of this is CDC Vaccine Schedules, which was developed by the CDC and provides the most current version of the child and adolescent immunization schedules, the child and adolescent catch-up immunization schedules, the adult immunization schedule, and more. It is available for free for both iOS and Android.

    Vaccines on the Go, created by The Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the U.S., is another app you can use. Aside from a recommended vaccination schedule, it also contains information about vaccine-preventable diseases, possible side effects of vaccines, games to test you on your vaccine knowledge, and more. It is available for free for both iOS and Android.


    If you have more questions about missed vaccinations and how to keep track of your child’s vaccinations, the safest thing to do is talk to your pediatrician.

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