Keep Your Baby Healthy: An Immunization Guideline - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on May 04, 2016

Keep Your Baby Healthy: An Immunization Guideline

Keep Your Baby Healthy: An Immunization Guideline

Your pediatrician will help you determine
an immunization schedule to ensure your
child gets the best protection possible.

You’ve almost certainly heard of the measles, polio, mumps and many other diseases that once threatened children in the U.S. However, it’s unlikely you’ve ever seen a case of any of those diseases. The reason is that vaccines have largely wiped them out. Childhood vaccinations are credited with helping us avoid widespread epidemics of illnesses like smallpox, polio, mumps, rubella, diphtheria and measles.

In order to keep your child healthy and continue protecting the whole population, your child needs to be vaccinated. The timing of your child’s vaccinations is key in protecting your child’s health and ensuring the shots are the most effective. Your child’s pediatrician will help you determine a timeline and schedule of immunizations that will guarantee your child gets the best protection possible against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Your child’s doctor will likely follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended immunization schedule. Here’s what you can expect at each stage of your baby’s shot schedule:

  • Hepatitis B: Babies normally get three doses of the hepatitis B vaccine. The first dose is given at birth, the second dose is given between one and two months old and the third dose is given between six and 18 months old.
  • DTap: Your baby will also need several doses of the DTap vaccine to fully protect them from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis or whooping cough. The first dose is recommended at 2 months. Your baby will need two more doses after that, one at 4 months and 6 months. They will need booster shots at 15 through 18 months.
  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib): This vaccine, which protects children from a serious disease caused by bacteria, is given in three or four doses. The first dose is at 2 months, the second at 4 months, the third dose at 6 months of age and a final or booster shot at 12 to 15 months of age.
  • PCV: This vaccine for pneumococcal disease is routinely given to infants in four doses – at 2 months old, four months old, 6 months and 12 through 15 months old.
  • Polio: Babies receive four doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). The first is at 2 months old, the second at 4 months and the final dose between 6 to 18 months old.
  • RV: To protect him or her from rotavirus, your baby will get either two or three doses of this vaccine depending on which brand is used. The first dose is at 2 months, the second at 4 months and if a third dose is needed it will be given at 6 months old.
  • Hepatitis A: All babies should receive the hepatitis A vaccination between their first and second birthdays.
  • MMR: Your child needs the MMR vaccine to protect them from measles, mumps and rubella. For the best protection, they should get this vaccine between 12 and 15 months old.
  • Varicella (chickenpox): Babies who have never had chickenpox should get this vaccine when they’re between 12 and 15 months old.
  • Flu shot: In order to protect babies from the serious complications of the flu, they should get an annual flu shot every fall beginning at 6 months old.

Although some parents may be concerned about the occasional reactions that occur with some vaccines, including soreness or redness at the injection site, fussiness, or a low-grade fever, the reality is that the majority of these reactions are mild and short-lived. Plus, vaccines are significantly safer than the diseases they prevent.

Related Locations

eNewsletter Signup

Our eNewsletters from Crozer-Keystone Health System help keep you up-to-date on your health and well being. View recent editions or sign up to receive our free eNewsletters.