Q&A: Traveling after immunizations. Is it a good idea?
Is ok to take my 2-month-old baby on a one week trip around the time he is supposed to have his first round of immunizations? Should I wait to come back? Can he have the shots before we leave? Or, should we not go at all?
At the age of two months, your baby will need the first round of his primary series of immunizations. There are four of them: DTaP, HIB, Polio, and the Pneumococcal vaccines. Plus, possibly he will need his second Hepatitis B, if he didn’t get that at one month of age. Five or six years ago, the preparation of the DTaP was improved and serious side effects of the shots are much less common than they used to be. All the same, he may experience a low-grade fever for one to two days, and his legs will be sore where the shots were given. Compared to the awful consequences of having one of these serious diseases, this is truly a small price to pay, even if it is annoying. While you can delay the shots a week, you of course run the (small) risk of your baby catching something like Pertussis, which still exists in the U.S., and a delay will throw him off schedule, since he will need the same shots at 4 months, too.
I recommend that you have your baby immunized a few days before your planned trip, so he will be beyond any side effects but still protected by the shots. You get these immunizations as early as six weeks of age.
I’m assuming you are traveling within the country. If not, please check with your doctor about other required “travel” vaccines, which depend upon your destination.