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.

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What if your child misses a shot?

For most vaccines, it is never too late to catch up on missed shots. Children who missed their first shots at 2 months of age can start later. Children who have gotten some of their shots and then fallen behind schedule can catch up without having to start over. If you have children who were not immunized when they were infants, or who have gotten behind schedule, contact your doctor or the health department clinic. They will help you get your children up to date on their immunizations.

(NOTE: Don't postpone your child's immunizations just because you know he or she can catch up later. Every month a child goes without scheduled immunizations is a month that the child is not fully protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.)

Combination vaccines

A combination vaccine is more than one vaccine contained in a single shot. Doctors and parents both like them because they allow a child to get several vaccines at once without having to get as many injections. Several combination vaccines are already in use (for example, MMR, DTaP, Hib/HepB, DTaP/IPV/HepB), and more are under development.

Vaccination checklist

Rarely, a child should wait before getting certain vaccines or should not get them at all. Tell your doctor or nurse if any of these apply to your child on a day when an immunization visit is scheduled.

  1. Is your child very sick today? (He or she has more than a common cold, earache, etc.)
  2. Does your child have any severe (life-threatening) allergies?
  3. Has your child ever had a severe reaction after a vaccination?
  4. Does your child have a weakened immune system (because of diseases such as cancer or medications such as steroids)?
  5. Has your child received a transfusion or any other blood product recently?
  6. Has your child ever had convulsions or any kind of nervous system problem?
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2016

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