This is a listing of the vaccinations the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children receive.
Some are administered orally.
• Newborns: Although not technically a vaccination, the first injection most babies receive is a dose of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps the blood to clot (an ability which is not fully developed in babies) and prevents serious bleeding. The injection prevents the (now) rare condition called hemorrhagic disease of the newborn.
Babies also receive the first of three doses of the vaccine that prevents Hepatitis B, a viral infection that can cause lifelong complications.
• 1-2 months: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 1- to 2-month-olds receive their second dose of the Hepatitis B vaccination; the first of three doses of DTaP, to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). Babies need three doses of DTaP to build up high enough levels of protection against the diseases.
The young babies also receive the first of two doses of Hib, to prevent haemophilus influenzae type b, which causes a variety of infections to ears, bloodstreams, and the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. Depending on the brand, three doses may be necessary.
They also receive their first dose of the polio vaccine. Children in the United States should receive four doses (at 2, 4 and 6-18 months, and at 4-6 years).
The CDC recommends babies receive PCV, to prevent pneumococcal infections caused by bacteria that affect ears, sinuses and bloodstreams.
• 2-4 months: Depending on the brand, babies should receive RV, to prevent rotavirus, which causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. One brand also requires a dosage at 6 months.
• 4 months: Children should receive doses of DTaP, Hib, Polio, PCV, RV and Hepatitis B vaccinations.
• 6 months: They continue the schedule (minus Hepatitis B), but should also receive an influenza vaccine.
• 7-11 months old: Babies are not scheduled for vaccines, but if they’ve missed some, they should catch up.
• 1-2 years: They should receive the first of two doses of the chickenpox vaccine, MMR — measles, mumps and rubella — and the vaccine for Hepatitis A. They should also continue with Hepatitis B, DTaP, Hib, Polio and PCV.
• 2-3 years: They should receive annual flu vaccines and should visit the doctor once a year for a check-up, according to the CDC.
• 4-6 years: Children should receive annual check-ups and flu vaccines and should continue with DTaP, polio, MMR and chickenpox vaccines.
• 7-10 years: Flu vaccines are most important. Also, children should continue to receive annual check-ups.
• 11-12 years: Children should receive the flu vaccines and the Tdap vaccine, which is similar to DTaP, but uses a lesser dose of the diphtheria and pertussis vaccines. They should also receive a meningococcal vaccination, which protects against serious bacterial infections affecting membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord; and HPV (human papillomavirus), which causes several kinds of cancer.