A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

What is the childhood immunization schedule?

Sticking to the childhood immunization schedule is a vital way to protect your child from many different infections and diseases. These illnesses often spread easily through children and can cause serious health concerns, and even death.

Infant getting band-aid placed on their leg by an adult after adhering to the childhood immunization schedule

No matter the age of your children, vaccines are proven to be one of the best ways to protect them from these illnesses.

No matter the age of your children, vaccines are proven to be one of the best ways to protect them from these illnesses.

The childhood immunization schedule provides a way to show when and how often children should get vaccines for their protection.

Marshfield Clinic Health System and Marshfield Children’s follows the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. This fortunately allow many of these vaccines to be combined safely in one visit.

More vaccines are given than even a few years ago because, as science advances, we can protect your child against more diseases than ever before.

RELATED ARTICLE: Debunking vaccine myths

Childhood immunization schedule (newborn to six years old)

The ages your child receives their vaccines differ.

“The childhood immunization schedule was built based on when a child is likely to be exposed to the illness and when the vaccine will be most effective,” said Dr. Dusan Markovic, pediatrician with Marshfield Children’s.

Immunization schedule is as follows:

  • Newborns – Hep B (1st dose)
  • 1-2 months – Hep B (2nd dose)
  • 2 months – DTaP (1st dose), HiB (1st dose), polio (1st dose); pneumococcal (1st dose) and rotavirus (2-dose series) vaccine
  • 4 months – DTaP (2nd dose), HiB (2nd dose), polio (2nd dose); pneumococcal (2nd dose) and rotavirus (2-dose series) vaccine.
  • 6 months – DTaP (3rd dose), HiB (3rd or 4th dose), polio (3rd dose); pneumococcal (3rd dose); rotavirus (needed if you decide 3-dose series) vaccine and Hep B (3rd dose)
  • Yearly Flu vaccine starting at 6 months of age.
  • 8 months or younger – 1 dose of respiratory syncytial virus immunization (for children born during or entering their first RSV season) OR 8-19 months – 1 dose of respiratory virus immunization (for children who are at increased risk for severe RSV disease and entering their second RSV season)
  • 12-15 months – MMR (1st dose); Varicella (1st dose), DTaP (4th dose), HiB (3rd or 4th dose); pneumococcal (4th dose); Hep A (2-dose series)
  • 18 months – Hep A (2-dose series if needed)
  • 4-5 years old – DTaP-IPV (5th dose) and MMR-Varicella (2nd dose)

Childhood immunizations are safe

“Vaccines go through rigorous testing and checks to first ensure they can be given safely,” said Dr. Markovic. “It’s safe to give your child each of these vaccines at the recommended ages.”

During your child’s first two years of their life is when they should receive their first doses of most vaccines. However, they might need more than one dose to reach full immunization.

“Your child can get their vaccines at well-child appointments or most routine office visits,” said Dr. Markovic.

If your child missed any vaccines, schedule an appointment with their provider.

RELATED ARTICLE: Playing catchup: How to handle your child’s missed vaccinations

Outbreaks can still occur

“Even though some of the diseases we have vaccinated against for years are no longer common, they could return very easily if we stopped vaccinating,” said Dr. Markovic.

It is not uncommon to have outbreaks of measleswhooping cough (pertussis), chickenpox and other diseases when vaccination rates drop.

While these diseases may seem mild, before immunizations were available, nearly four million people got chickenpox annually in the United States, over 10,500 people were hospitalized and about 150 people died of this disease every year.

Ask your pediatrician if you have questions or concerns about childhood vaccines or the vaccine schedule.

For questions about the immunization schedule, talk to a Marshfield Children’s provider.

Schedule appointment Message your provider

Related Shine365 articles

Debunking vaccine myths

Measles: What you need to know

Advice for new parents: Help keep your new baby healthy and safe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

View our comment policy