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What is the Vaccine Schedule for Children?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and The United States Department of Health and Human Services offers immunization schedule for children aged between 0 to 6 years and adolescents from 7 to 18 years. These schedules are approved by different regulatory bodies and are a mandatory requirement for all newborns. Childhood vaccines provide immunity protection against 14 serious diseases including chickenpox, whooping cough, measles, and polio. To help you understand the vaccine schedule for children, we have simplified it into the recommended ages for routine administration, the type of vaccine administered during each stage and the diseases it helps prevent.

At Birth

Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) is usually administered at birth and the initial dose is given within the first 24 hours of birth. However, kids who were not immunized previously can get it at any age. Infants with a low birth weight usually get the HepB vaccine one month after being discharged from the hospital. The second dose is administered between 1 to 2 months after the first dose. This vaccine helps protect against Hepatitis B.

2 Months of Age

DTaP vaccine is administered for children who are 2 months old and is meant to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), and polio. Other vaccines given during this period include Haemophilus Influenza Type B Vaccine (Hib), Rotavirus Vaccine (RV), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13), and Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV).

4 Months of Age

The second dose of all vaccines that were given at 2 months of age is administered again to infants who are 4 months old.

6 Months of Age

The third dose of DTaP, Hib, IPV, and Rotavirus is administered at 6 months of age. The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and helps protect against pneumococcal disease. The Influenza vaccine is also recommended for children who are 6 months and older and can either be given by injection or nasal spray.

12 Months of Age

The MMR-Var vaccine is given at 12 months of age to protect against measles, mumps, rubella, The first dose of chickenpox (also known as varicella) is also administered. Other vaccines administered at this stage include Pneumococcal Conjugate (PVC13) and Hepatitis A.

18 months of Age

Another dose of DTaP, IPV and Hib vaccine is administered at 18 months of age to protect against polio, Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and haemophilus influenza type b.

4 to 6 Years

Children who have attained the age of 4 to 6 years are given DTaP, IVP, MMR, and Varicella vaccine. Varicella vaccine helps fight against chicken pox, also known as Varicella. The MMR protects against measles, mumps, and rubella while the DTaP protects your child from Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio.

11 Years to 18 Years.

The Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) is given in two shots over the period of 6 to 12 months. It is recommended for both boys and girls to protect against genital warts and other types of cancer. DTaP and Meningococcal Conjugate vaccines are given as a booster dose at the age of 16. The Meningococcal B vaccine (MenB) may be administered in two or three doses depending on the brand.

Special Circumstances

  • MMR Vaccine
  • The MMR vaccine can be given to infants who are 6 months old if they will be boarding international flights on a regular basis. Children who are more than 1 year of age should be given another dose of the vaccine in case of a mumps outbreak regardless of the number of doses they already had.

  • Flu Vaccine
  • Kids who are at high risk of contracting the flu virus need to be given the flu vaccine. Some of the high-risk groups include children with diabetes, sickle cell, HIV, heart problems or asthma.

  • HepA Vaccine
  • This vaccine is recommended for children who are 2 years and older if they are at great risk of contracting the disease. This might include people who adopt children, travel to, or live in areas with high rates of hepatitis A. It can also be given to anyone who wants to be immune to the disease.

    The vaccine schedule of recommended immunizations may vary slightly depending on the type of vaccine, your child’s health, where you live, and vaccines available. Some of these vaccines can also be administered as part of a combined vaccine that allows a child to receive fewer shots of the dose. It is also important to talk with your doctor about the appropriate brands of vaccine your kid needs for a strong immune system.

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