You don’t have to vaccinate all your children – you only have to vaccinate the children you want to live. To help you make an informed decision about your child’s health, read through the baby immunization chart outlined below.
Which Vaccines Will Your Child Receive?
The American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children be vaccinated to protect from preventable, life-threatening diseases. Vaccines prevent conditions like polio and measles, among many others. Here are all of the recommended vaccines your child should receive between birth and childhood, according to the CDC:
- Hepatitis B (3 shots)
- DTaP (6 shots)
- Hib (3 or 4 shots, depending on which brand is used)
- Polio (IPV) (4 shots)
- Pneumococcal (PCV13) (4 shots)
- Rotavirus (2 or 3 doses, depending on which brand is used)
- Influenza (flu vaccine) (1 shot a year; the CDC recommends the annual flu vaccine for kids 6 months of age and older, the first time your child receives the vaccine, he or she will receive two doses)
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) (2 shots)
- Varicella (chicken pox) (2 shots)
- Hepatitis A (2 shots)
- Meningococcal (2 shots)
- HPV (2 to 3 shots)
Below, you’ll find a detailed explanation of when the CDC recommends taking each vaccine.
Baby Immunization Schedule Chart: When to Take Each Vaccine
Keeping up-to-date on your child’s vaccines can be difficult. Fortunately, the CDC has a basic outline that explains when your child needs each vaccine, and at which age they should take each vaccine. Here’s a basic overview of vaccine scheduling, according to the CDC:
- 1st dose of HepB
- 2 Months of Age
- 2nd dose of HepB (approximately ages 1 to 2 months)
- 1st dose of RV
- 1st dose of DTaP
- 1st dose of Hib
- 1st dose of PCV
- 1st dose of IPV
4 Months of Age
- 2nd dose of RV
- 2nd dose of DTaP
- 2nd dose of Hib
- 2nd dose of PCV
- 2nd dose of IPV
6 Months of Age
- 3rd dose of HepB (ages 6 to 18 months)
- 3rd dose of RV (only in some cases)
- 3rd dose of DTaP
- 3rd dose of Hib
- 3rd dose of PCV
- 3rd dose of IPV (ages 6 to 18 months)
- Begin annual flu vaccination (two doses for first timer; one dose annually thereafter)
1 Year Old
- Booster dose of Hib (ages 12 to 15 months)
- 4th dose of PCV (ages 12 to 15 months)
Annual flu vaccination
- 1st dose of MMR (ages 12 to 15 months)
- 1st dose of varicella (ages 12 to 15 months)
- 2 dose series of HepA (ages 12 to 24 months)
16 to 18 Months
- 4th dose of DTaP
- Annual flu vaccination
4 to 6 Years
- 5th dose of DTaP
- 4th dose of IPV
- Annual flu vaccination
- 2nd dose of MMR
- 2nd dose of Varicella
What is Each Vaccine?
Here’s a brief overview of each of the vaccines mentioned above:
HepB: The HepB vaccine protects against hepatitis B, which is an infection of the liver. HepB is given in three shots, with the first shot taking place at the time of birth. In most states, children are required to demonstrate proof of HepB vaccination prior to entering school.
RV: The RV vaccine protects against rotavirus, which is a major cause of diarrhea. RV is given in 2 or 3 doses, depending on which vaccine is used.
DTaP: DTaP is a multi-functional vaccine designed to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (pertussis is aslo known as whooping cough). A total of five doses take place between infancy and childhood, with additional boosters being given in adolescence and adulthood.
Hib: Hib protects against haemophilus influenzae type b, which was once a leading cause of bacterial meningitis. Your child will receive four doses of Hib vaccination.
PCV: PCV protects against pneumococcal disease. It’s spread across four doses.
IPV: IPV is the polio vaccine.
Influenza: This is the flu vaccine. The CDC recommends giving this vaccine seasonally to your child each year, starting at age 6 months. Flu season runs from September through May.
MMR: MMR is the measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles) vaccine. It’s given in two doses. Your infant receives the first dose between 12 and 15 months, and receives the second dose between ages 4 and 6 years. However, it can safely be given to your child as soon as 28 days after the first dose.
Varicella: Varicella is the chicken pox vaccine. It’s given in two doses and is recommended for all healthy children.
HepA: HepA protects against hepatitis A.
Talk to Your Doctor
Always consult the CDC’s official vaccination information website and a medical professional when asking questions about your baby’s immunization schedule. These are crucial decisions about the health of your child, and they could have a significant impact on your child’s life in the future. Your doctor can explain the safety of all vaccines listed above, including how to relieve any vaccine side effects in your children.