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Recommended immunization schedule for baby’s first year

Immunizations are one of the most important tools of preventative medicine that we have. A few brief shots given during childhood can provide a lifetime’s worth of protection against serious disease. Many of the first doses of the vaccines that will help protect Baby will be given in his first year.

As Baby gets older, he may need further doses of some vaccines to be properly immunized for the long term. But the recommended immunization schedule for Baby’s first year is scheduled in a way that’s meant to help him build immunity against disease as early as possible. This is particularly important because many of the diseases these vaccines protect against can be especially dangerous for children.

Not all of the immunizations are given as shots—some can be given orally—but many of those that are can actually be bundled into a single combination shot, which means fewer needles for your little one. Fortunately those very brief ouchies provide long-lasting protection.

T

he recommended immunization schedule for most all children in their first year is as follows:

Birth

  • Hepatitis B (HepB) — 1st dose

Two months old

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis (DTaP) — 1st dose
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) — 1st dose
  • Hepatitis B (HepB) — 2nd dose (can be given at 1-2 months old)
  • Inactivated polio virus (IPV) — 1st dose
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) — 1st dose
  • Rotavirus (RV) — 1st dose

Four months old

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis (DTaP) — 2nd dose
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) — 2nd dose
  • Inactivated polio virus (IPV) — 2nd dose
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) — 2nd dose
  • Rotavirus (RV) — 2nd dose

Six months old

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and acellular Pertussis (DTaP) — 3rd dose
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) — may get 3rd dose* (see notes below)
  • Hepatitis B (HepB) — 3rd dose (can be given at 6-18 months old)
  • Inactivated polio virus (IPV) — 3rd dose (can be given at 6-18 months old)
  • Influenza (IIV) — 1st dose
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) — 3rd dose
  • Rotavirus (RV) — may get 3rd dose** (see notes below)

12 months old

  • Haemophilus influenzae type B* (Hib) — may get 3rd or 4th dose (see notes below)
  • Hepatitis A (HepA) — 1st dose
  • Influenza (IIV) — 2nd dose*** (see notes below)
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) — 1st dose (can be given at 12-15 months old)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) — 4th dose (can be given at 12-15 months old)
  • Varicella (VAR) — 1st dose (can be given at 12-15 months old)

Again, the diseases these vaccines protect against can be particularly dangerous for children, so it’s important that Baby get his regularly scheduled immunizations. But if for any reason your little one misses a scheduled vaccination, be sure to let your child’s healthcare provider know so that they can help Baby get back on track as soon as possible. And if you have any questions about immunizations, you should speak with your child’s healthcare provider—that’s what they’re there for.

Learn more about vaccines

* A note on the Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine: There are a few different types of Hib vaccines. Most are a four dose series of vaccines given at 2, 4, 6, 12–15 months old, and one is a three dose series of vaccines given at 2, 4, and 12–15 months old.

** A note on the Rotavirus (RV) vaccine: There are two different kinds of RV vaccines. One is a two dose series of vaccines given at 2 and 4 months old, and one is a three dose series of vaccines given at 2, 4, and 6 months old.

*** A note on the Influenza (IIV), or flu, vaccine. In a child’s first year, they need two doses of the flu vaccine. Following this, they should then get one flu shot again each year by the end of October, which is before the flu virus typically starts spreading during flu season.

Sources
  • “Table 1. Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for ages 18 years or younger, United States, 2020.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, February 3 2020. Retrieved February 12 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html
  • “Vaccine for Flu (Influenza).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, August 2 2019. Retrieved February 12 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/diseases/flu.html

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