The US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that infants beginning at birth receive several vaccines directed against a variety of infectious diseases that currently pose threats of morbidity and mortality to infants and those around them, including the 3-dose hepatitis B (HepB) series. The first dose is due at birth. This series protects against maternal-infant transmission of the HepB virus and against exposure the rest of the infant's life. At age 2 months infants are to receive not only their second dose of HepB vaccine but also a series of vaccines directed against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, pneumococcus, rotavirus, poliovirus, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. At 4 months, infants are to repeat those vaccines except for the HepB vaccine. At age 6 months infants are to finish the HepB series and receive the third doses of the other vaccines received at 2 and 4 months except for the rotavirus vaccine, depending on the brand used. Also, starting at 6 months, depending on the time of year, infants are to begin a 2-dose series against influenza separated by 28 days. Each of these vaccines is due at a time when the vaccine works to protect against an immediate risk and to provide long-term protection. These vaccine-preventable diseases vary in terms of the nature of exposure, the form of the morbidity, the risk of mortality, and the ability of routine vaccination to prevent or ameliorate harm.
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