What Is the Recommended Vaccination Schedule for Babies and Children?

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One of the most important decisions one has to make as a parent is whether or not your child will be receiving vaccinations. Many if not most parents opt to follow the vaccination schedule as set by the CDC. Others decide to go for an extended vaccination schedule, in the hopes that spreading out shot might make any potential side effects weaker, thought many pediatricians tend to refute this. Some parents simply choose not to vaccinate their children at all, for any number of reasons. However, if you’re pro-vaxx, you might be asking yourself what is the recommended vaccination schedule?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

According to the CDC, the first vaccination your baby will receive is a Hepatitis B (HepB) shot, usually within the first 12 to 24 hours after birth. A second HepB shot will be given at one or two months, and a third between 6 to 15 months.

At your child’s two-month pediatrician appointment, they’ll receive their first polio shot (IPV), plus protection against diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP), Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), a pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13), and Rotavirus (RV). These four shots will be administered in a second dose at four months.

{Also read: This Pediatrician’s Vaccination Rant Deserves to Go Viral Again and Again}

Babies don’t get much a break their first year of life. At their six-month appointment, they get a 3rd dose of DTaP, IPV (administered between now and 18 months), and PCV13, and then depending on the type of vaccine used, may or may not need a third round of RV and Hib. At this point, they’ll also be encouraged to obtain an optional influenza vaccine (IIV).

For their first birthday, they also get their first vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and varicella (VAR, also known as the chicken pox). At this point, they might also get their first Hepatitis A (HepA) shot, and a fourth dose against PCV13 and Hib. I know. It’s a lot to take in.

Basically, your baby won’t be too fond of the doctor that first year of life. Even at 18 months, they’ll be getting follow-ups for DTaP and HepA. But after that, it’s smooth sailing! Until they turn four, that is, when they have more follow up shots—important since they’ll be starting school. If you’d like to see the full schedule, check out this graphic from the CDC below.

The Full Vaccination Schedule:

At the end of the day, it’s important we take on the responsibility of keeping our children safe from diseases they don’t need to experience. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your pediatrician.

(Image: iStock / didesign021)