This schedule of recommended immunizations may vary depending upon where you live, your child's health, the type of vaccine, and the vaccines available.
Some of the vaccines may be given as part of a combination vaccine so that a child gets fewer shots. Talk with your doctor about which vaccines your kids need.
- HepB: Hepatitis B vaccine. Ideally, the first dose is given within 24 hours of birth, but kids not previously immunized can get it at any age. Some low birth weight infants will get it at 1 month or when they're discharged from the hospital.
- HepB: Second dose should be given 1 to 2 months after the first dose.
- DTaP: Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine
- Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
- IPV: Inactivated poliovirus vaccine
- PCV: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
- RV: Rotavirus vaccine
- Hib: This third dose may be needed, depending on the brand of vaccine used in previous Hib immunizations.
- RV: This third dose may be needed, depending on the brand of vaccine used in previous RV immunizations.
6 months and annually
- Influenza (Flu):
The flu vaccine is recommended every year for children 6 months and older:
- Kids younger than 9 who get the flu vaccine for the first time (or who have only had one dose before July 2019) will get it in two separate doses at least a month apart.
- Those younger than 9 who have had at least two doses of flu vaccine previously (in the same or different seasons) will only need one dose.
- Kids older than 9 only need one dose.
- The vaccine is given by injection with a needle (the flu shot) or by nasal spray. Both types of vaccine can be used this flu season (2019-2020) because they seem to work equally well. Your doctor will recommend which to use based on your child's age and general health. The nasal spray is only for healthy people ages 2–49. People with weakened immune systems or some health conditions (such as asthma) and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine.
- HepA: Hepatitis A vaccine; given as two shots at least 6 months apart
- HPV: Human papillomavirus vaccine, given in two shots over a 6- to 12-month period. It can be given as early as age 9. For teens and young adults (ages 15–26 in girls and ages 15–21 in boys), it is given in three shots over 6 months. It's recommended for both girls and boys to prevent genital warts and some types of cancer.
- Tdap: Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis booster. Also recommended during each pregnancy a woman has.
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine: And a booster dose is recommended at age 16.
- Meningococcal B vaccine (MenB): The MenB vaccine may be given to kids and teens in two or three doses, depending on the brand. Unlike the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, which is recommended, the MenB vaccine is given at the discretion of the doctor.
- HepA can be given as early as 6 months of age to babies who will travel to a place where hepatitis A is common (they will still need routine vaccination after their first birthday). It's also recommended for kids 2 years and older and adults who are at high risk for the disease. This includes people who live in, travel to, or adopt children from areas with high rates of hepatitis A, people with clotting disorders, people with chronic liver disease, homeless people, and drug users. The vaccine also can be given to anyone who wants immunity to the disease, and is useful for staff at childcare facilities or schools, where they may be at risk of exposure.
- The MMR vaccine can be given to babies as young as 6 months old if they will be traveling internationally. These children should still get the recommended routine doses at 12–15 months and 4–6 years of age, but can get the second dose as early as 4 weeks after the first if they will still be traveling and at risk.
- The flu vaccine is especially important for kids who are at risk for health problems from the flu. High-risk groups include, but aren't limited to, kids younger than 5 years old and those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, heart problems, sickle cell disease, diabetes, or HIV.
- The meningococcal vaccines can be given to kids as young as 8 weeks old (depending on the brand of vaccine) who are at risk for a meningococcal infection, such as meningitis. This includes children with certain immune disorders. Kids who live in (or will be traveling to) countries where meningitis is common, or where there is an outbreak, should also get the vaccine.
- Pneumococcal vaccines also can be given to older kids (age 2 and up) who have conditions that affect their immune systems, such as asplenia or HIV infection, or other conditions, like a cochlear implant, chronic heart disease, or chronic lung disease.
An outbreak is when a disease happens in greater numbers than expected in a particular area. If you have questions about vaccinating your family during an outbreak, ask your health care provider or contact your state or local health department.
- Common Questions About Immunizations
- Your Child's Immunizations
- Is the Flu Vaccine a Good Idea for Your Family?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995- KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.