Important Immunizations And When Your Child Should Get Them

Whether you’re a brand new parent or the mom of teen-agers, one thing that doesn’t change is the need to keep up with your children’s vaccination schedules.

Vaccination recommendations

Here’s an overview of the recommended vaccination schedule for children from birth to 18 years of age by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Birth to 18 months

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rotavirus
  • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis)
  • Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
  • IPV (polio)
  • PCV (pneumococcal conjugate)
  • MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Influenza: Recommended annually for all children older than six months

4 to 6 years

  • DTaP
  • MMR
  • IPV
  • Varicella

11 to 12 years (up to 18 years for catch-up vaccinations)

  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
  • MCV4 (meningitis)–Many colleges require this vaccine. The meningococcal vaccine does not have strict age guidelines, a 10-year-old recently contracted a fatal infection. He recommends getting the MCV4 as young as possible, especially for children who go to overnight camps or live in similar dorm-style arrangements.
  • HPV (Human papillomavirus). This vaccine has the potential to virtually eradicate one of the most common cancers in women.

Note: Vaccines are given at various doses on varying schedules. Consult your pediatrician for specifics for your child.