The Children’s Immunization Schedule

The Children’s Immunization Schedule

Guidelines have been set for many health issues. Experts are able to devote a considerable amount of time to a particular question (far more than an individual physician could ever hope to achieve), thus the benefit of many experts’ in-depth knowledge on many different questions is now available to individual families and physicians. A subcommittee of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), has established a Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule:

The 2012 recommendations include:

  • Hepatitis B #1 — Birth
  • Hepatitis B #2 — 1 to 2 months
  • Hepatitis B #3 — 6 to 18 months
  • Rotavirus #1 –- 2 months
  • Rotavirus #2 — 4 months
  • Rotavirus #3 — 6 months
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis (DTaP) #1 — 2 months
  • DTaP #2 — 4 months
  • DTaP #3 — 6 months
  • DTaP #4 — 15 to 18 months
  • DTaP #5 — 4 to 6 years
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, and acellular Pertussis (TdaP) –– 11 to-12 years ; then Td boosters every 10 years
  • H. influenzae type b (Hib) #1 — 2 months
  • Hib #2 — 4 months
  • Hib #3 — 6 months
  • Hib #4 — 12 to 15 months
  • Inactivated Polio #1 — 2 months
  • Inactivated Polio #2 — 4 months
  • Inactivated Polio #3 — 6 to 18 months
  • Inactivated Polio #4 — 4 to 6 years
  • Measles , mumps, and rubella (MMR) #1 — 12 to 15 months
  • MMR #2 — 4 to 6 years
  • New in 2012, the ACIP also recommends an extra MMR vaccine for all children 6 to 11 months old who are travelling internationally.
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine #1 — 2 months
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine #2 — 4 months
  • Pneumoccocal conjugate vaccine #3 — 6 months
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine #4 — 12 to 15 months
  • Hepatitis A #1 — 12 to 23 months
  • Hepatitis A #2 — 6 months after Hepatitis A #1
  • Influenza — Annually for children ages 6 months to 18 years. Children under 9 years receiving influenza immunization for the first time require 2 doses, 4 weeks apart.
  • Meningococcal vaccine– 2 to 10 years for high risk groups including children with weakened immune systems (such as those with complement deficiency or functional asplenia). 11 to 18 years (preferably at 11 to 12 years) for all children not previously vaccinated.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) #1 -– recommended for both females and males at 11 to 12 years of age (minimum age: 9 years). Prevents cervical cancer and genital warts.
  • HPV #2 -– 2 months after 1st dose.
  • HPV #3 -– 6 months after 1st dose.

These are general guidelines and the range of acceptable times for giving these vaccines may vary. Details can be found at the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/child-schedule.htm.

Other vaccines may be prescribed by your pediatrician based on risk factors.

If you will be traveling outside the country, contact your physician regarding special vaccines that are recommended for the area in which you will be traveling.

Any dose not given at the recommended age should be given as a “catch-up” immunization at any subsequent visit when indicated and feasible.

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Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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