Childhood Vaccination Schedule (cont.)

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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).

What childhood vaccines are recommended, and at what ages they should be given?

Hepatitis B vaccine:

  1. First dose at birth before discharge
  2. Second dose at 1 to 2 months
  3. Third dose at 6 to 18 months

Hib vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 months (depending upon type of Hib vaccine given)
  4. Fourth dose at 12 to 15 months

Inactivated polio vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 to 18 months
  4. Fourth dose at 4 to 6 years

DTaP vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 months
  4. Fourth dose at 15 to 18 months
  5. Fifth dose at 4 to 6 years
  6. Tdap is recommended at 11 years

Pneumococcal vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 months
  4. Fourth dose at 12 to 18 months

Rotavirus vaccine:

  1. First dose at 2 months
  2. Second dose at 4 months
  3. Third dose at 6 months (depending upon type of rotavirus vaccine given)

Hepatitis A vaccine:

  1. First dose at 12 months
  2. Second dose at 18-30 months

Influenza vaccine:

  1. First dose at 6 months (requires a booster one month after initial vaccine)
  2. Annually after that

MMR vaccine:

  1. First dose at 12 to 15 months
  2. Second dose at 4 to 6 years

Varicella vaccine:

  1. First dose at 12 to 15 months
  2. Second dose at 4 to 6 years

Meningococcal vaccine:

  1. First dose at 11 years
  2. Second dose at 16 years

Human papillomavirus vaccine:

  1. First dose at 11 years
  2. Second dose two months after first dose
  3. Third dose six months after first dose
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/16/2014

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