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Young girl gets her yearly vaccinations.
Family Health

Vaccine Schedule: Stay Protected From Infancy to Adulthood

For infants, children, and adults alike, regular vaccinations are an important part of staying healthy. But which vaccines do you need based on your age and any health conditions you may have?

To help guide you, here's a vaccine schedule that covers what vaccines you need and when, from infancy to adulthood.

The First 15 Months

  • Birth to 2 months: Newborn babies up to 2 months old will only receive a vaccine for hepatitis B, a virus that infects the liver and is most commonly spread by exposure to infected body fluids.
  • Two months: At two months, infants should receive a second hepatitis B vaccine. They'll also receive vaccinations for:
    • Rotavirus (RV), which causes stomach flu.
    • Diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTaP), three separate infections that are vaccinated against at the same time. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that mainly affects the throat and nose and is transmitted through sneezing or coughing. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is a bacterial infection that causes jaw-locking, cramps, or muscle-tightening. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract.
    • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), a type of bacteria that can cause illnesses such as meningitis.
    • Pneumococcal disease (PCV13), which can cause a variety of conditions, including ear infections.
    • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV), which protects against polio, an infectious disease that can cause paralysis.
  • Four months: Infants receive second doses of RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV13, and IPV vaccines.
  • Six to 15 months: Infants at this age may receive another Hepatitis B vaccination. At 6 months, infants will receive a third RV, DTaP, Hib, and PCV vaccine. A third IPV vaccine may be given between 6 and 15 months, as well as a flu vaccine. From 12 to 15 months, children may receive Hib, PCV, MMR, and varicella vaccines. The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, while the varicella vaccine helps prevent chicken pox. At this age, children may also receive a vaccine for Hepatitis A, which causes fatigue, nausea, and abdominal pain. From 6 months on, yearly flu vaccines are recommended.

Toddlers and Young Children

  • 18 months: At 18 months, a child may receive an additional DTaP vaccine, as well as a Hepatitis A vaccine.
  • 19–23 months: At this age, children may receive a flu vaccine and a Hepatitis A vaccine.
  • 2–3 years: At this age, children should receive a yearly flu vaccine.
  • 4–6 years: Children this age should receive DTaP, IPV, MMR, and varicella vaccines, in addition to yearly flu shots.
  • 7–8 years: Children should receive a yearly flu shot. DTaP, Hepatitis B, IPV, MMR, and varicella vaccines should be given if the child is catching up on missed vaccines. Children with certain health or lifestyle conditions should receive a Hepatitis A vaccine.
  • 9–10 years: At this age, children should receive a yearly flu vaccine. Additionally, talk to your doctor about vaccinating for human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can cause cervical cancer in women and genital warts in women and men.

Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults

  • 11–12 years: Children should receive an HPV vaccine and a meningococcal ACWY shot, which protects against four types of meningitis.
  • 13–15 years: Teens should receive a yearly flu vaccine.
  • 16–18 years: Teens should receive a yearly flu vaccine, as well as a meningococcal ACWY booster shot at 16.
  • 19–21 years: At this age, young adults should receive a yearly flu vaccine, varicella vaccine and MMR vaccine. Men and women should receive an HPV vaccine.

Adulthood Vaccinations

  • 22–26 years: At this age, young adults should receive a yearly flu shot and a DTaP booster shot.
  • 27–49 years: At this age, adults should receive a yearly flu shot.
  • 50–59 years: At this age, adults should receive a yearly flu shot.
  • 60–64 years: Seniors should receive a shingles vaccine. Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella roster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.
  • 65+ years: Seniors should receive a shingles vaccine, a PCV13 vaccine, and a PPSV23 shot, which protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

If you, your child, or a loved one misses a shot on this vaccine schedule, go back to your doctor for the next shot.

Need this info in a quick, easy-to-use format? Here's a chart to help you out.

Vaccine schedule from infancy to adulthood

Posted in Family Health

Tayla Holman is a Boston-based writer and journalist. She graduated from Hofstra University, where she double-majored in print journalism and English with a concentration in publishing studies and literature. She has previously written for The Inquisitr, USA Herald, EmaxHealth, the Dorchester Reporter, and Healthline. Tayla is the founder and editor of WholeWomanHealth.org, a natural and holistic health website for women.

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*This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute health care advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or physician before making health care decisions.