Childhood Immunization (Vaccination) Schedule

  • Medical Author:
    David Perlstein, MD, MBA, FAAP

    Dr. Perlstein received his Medical Degree from the University of Cincinnati and then completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at The New York Hospital, Cornell medical Center in New York City. After serving an additional year as Chief Pediatric Resident, he worked as a private practitioner and then was appointed Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

View the Travel Health and Vaccines Slideshow Pictures

Chickenpox Vaccine for My Child?

Even if chickenpox doesn't cause lasting problems in most people, the condition is far from harmless for some. It can lead to serious illness in adults, very young infants, and those whose immune systems are suppressed. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before the advent of the chickenpox vaccine, about 11,000 people were hospitalized each year and about 100 deaths occurred each year in the U.S. as a result of infection with the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus, or VZV).

Quick GuideChildhood Illnesses: A Parenting Guide to Sick Kids

Childhood Illnesses: A Parenting Guide to Sick Kids

Why do we need vaccines?

None of us wants to see our children get sick. If we could, we would protect them from any illness, no matter how small, even the sniffles.

Now suppose you could make your child safe from some of the most deadly diseases in history...And suppose that at the same time you could also help protect your neighbors' children and other children around the country from the same diseases, and finally, you could actually help to rid the world of some of these diseases that have been crippling and killing children for centuries.

You can do all of these things with one of the easiest and yet most powerful health tools ever developed. You can make sure you immunize your children.

How do vaccines work?

When you receive a vaccine, it helps your body to create antibodies. Antibodies are the body's defenses that fight off any foreign substances (germs). Although your body can create antibodies on its own, many of the vaccine-preventable diseases cause severe illness and even death before enough antibodies are produced.

Immunization (vaccination) schedule

Vaccines work best when they are given at certain ages. For example, measles vaccine is not usually given until a child is at least 1 year old. If it is given earlier than that, it may not work as well. On the other hand, the DTaP vaccine should be given over a period of time in a series of properly spaced doses. More information about the specific diseases your child is vaccinated against is listed later in this article.

Following is a description of the routine childhood immunization schedule. It is published each year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Childhood Vaccination Schedule - Experience

    Please share your child's experience with vaccinations.

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors