An Updated 2009 Immunization Schedule For Children To Receive Vaccines.

According to the CDC, diseases that are preventable by vaccines are at record lows. Children in the U.S. receive vaccines at various ages to protect them against diseases ranging from polio to chickenpox.  Check out the childhood immunization schedule to make sure your child is staying protected and healthy.
Tracy B McGinnis

By receiving a vaccine your body is able to build immunity to a disease by developing antibodies to fight off germs.  Prior to certain vaccines people would have to get sick with the disease first in order to build up immunity to it, which in some cases resulted in death.

Vaccines are administered at certain ages in order for them to work most effectively.  Below is a schedule provided by the CDC with guidelines on when and which vaccines children should receive as of November 2009.

If you are concerned about your child receiving a specific vaccine, or worry about your child receiving multiple shots at one time, it is best to discuss your concerns with your pediatrician in order to come to the best solution for you and your child. For more information on concerns and explanations to these issues visit  the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for answers and updates on vaccine safety.

Childhood Immunization Schedule

  • Hepatitis B (HepB) - At birth your child will receive their first vaccine – Hepatitis B, which is caused by an infection in the liver. A 2nd dose of HepB is recommended between the ages of 1-2 months and again between 6-18 months of age.
  • Rotavirus (RV) – There is 3 doses of RV recommended at ages 2, 4 and 6 months of age. The virus infects the bowels and causes severe diarrhea.
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP) – This vaccination is recommended at months 2, 4 and 6 as well as a 4th dose between 15-18 months of age. A fifth dose is recommended again at 4-6 years of age. The CDC explains that these diseases are serious and caused by bacteria.
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b4 – Also known as Hib, this vaccination is recommended at 2, 4, 6, and between 12-15 months of age. The vaccine is given to protect against diseases caused by bacteria, and the CDC reports that this, along with other vaccines, has reduced diseases including meningitis in childhood.
  • Pneumococcal (PCV) – Given at 2, 4, 6 months and again between 12-15 months, PCV and is given to children to protect against pneumonia and meningitis, which children age 2 and under are at most risk of. 
  •  Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV) – Children ages 2 and 4 months as well as 6-18 months will receive the IPV vaccine to prevent Polio, which prior to the vaccine caused epidemics in the U.S.
    Influenza – Given yearly from 6 months and on this vaccine helps protect children from the flu. With so much attention given to the flu and H1N1 virus recently discussing getting the vaccine for you and your children as well as how to help prevent the flu is a must with your health care professional.
  •  MMR – From 12-18 months and again from 4-6 years of age children are recommended by the CDC to receive an MMR vaccine which protects children against measles, mumps, and rubella.
    Varicella – Given between the ages of 12-18 months and protects children against getting the chickenpox. The CDC reports that the vaccine is vary effective with 8 to 9 of every 10 people who receive it are protected from chickenpox.
  • Hepatits A – It is recommended that children receive the 2 doses of the HepA vaccine 6 months apart between the ages of 12-23 months. There are instanses where older children who may be at an increased risk also receive the vaccine.
  • Meningococcal (MCV) – Given between the ages of 2-10 years of age, MCV is an infection caused by bacteria where fluid surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

Click here to see a larger, printable version of the immunization schedule.

Vaccine Safety
Vaccines are tested and are licenses by the FDA before being put into use in the U.S. The CDC monitors the effectiveness and safety of what is being administered to the public under the Immunization Safety Office (ISO) the CDC monitors everything from side effects to adverse reactions to vaccines. The Vaccine Saftey Datalink (VSD) project stores medical records for over 8 million people and watch them for side effects from vaccines. To learn more visit the CDC's website on vaccine safety.  Always discuss problems and concerns you have with vaccines with your health care professional. If your not convinced after speaking with one doctor, talk with others to get the more information possible. Be proactive in learning about vaccines as well as how to best protect you and your children from germs and disease.

For more on childhood immunizations:

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