FAQ: Childhood Vaccines and Immunizations

August 22, 2022

Early childhood immunizations are one of the most effective protections against contracting and spreading infectious diseases. Although illnesses like measles, mumps, or hepatitis may sound uncommon, it is because modern vaccines are doing their job. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children receive scheduled vaccines and immunizations beginning after birth and throughout development. See more in the chart below:

Age Range Recommended Vaccine
Newborn

Hepatitis B #1

1 month

Hepatitis B #2

2 months

DTaP – Hib – IPV #1

PCV13 #1

Rotavirus #1

4 months

DTaP – Hib – IPV #2

PCV13 #2

Rotavirus #2

6 months

DTaP – Hib – IPV #3

PCV13 #3

Rotavirus #3

9 months

Hepatitis B #3

12 months

MMR #1

Varicella #1

PCV13 #4

Hepatitis A #1

15 months

DTaP #4

HiB #4

18 months

Hepatitis A #2

2–3 years

Catch up vaccines, if needed

4–6 years

DTaP – Polio #5

MMR – Varicella #2

7–10 years

Influenza (yearly flu shot)

11 years

HPV #1

Tdap

MenACWY #1

12–15 years

HPV #2 (if HPV #1 given at >15 years, will need three doses)

16–18 years

MenACWY #2

Men B #1 and #2

 

Are vaccines safe for children?

Yes. Millions of children safely receive vaccines that protect them from contracting and spreading potentially life-threatening diseases. Common side effects are mild, such as a low-grade fever or limb soreness, but severe allergic reactions are rare. If your child has specific medical conditions or a history of allergies, contact your doctor for medical advice on the best vaccination plan for your family.

How do vaccines work?

Babies are born with immune systems to fight off germs and prevent illness, but there are some diseases they cannot handle. By introducing a small number of weakened or dead antigens through a vaccine, your child’s immune system will remember the vaccine antigen and attack the germ if it comes in contact again. Vaccines do not cause any illnesses and contain only a small fraction of the antigens that your child comes in contact within the world every day.

What happens if my child misses a shot?

If your child misses a shot, you don’t have to start over. It’s never too late to start getting immunizations, but if your children weren’t vaccinated as infants contact your doctor or clinic for information on where to go for the right shots.

Where can my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Children 6 months to 4 years old are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, please check out the CDC website, resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics and your pediatrician’s office for more information on COVID-19 vaccines for your child.

For more information on vaccine appointments available at Lurie Children's, visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.

Where can I get immunizations for my child?

Lurie Children’s offers childhood immunizations at several of our locations across the Chicagoland area. Learn more about Lurie Children's Primary Care.

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