Pencil These In: Vaccine Schedules
Your baby probably got his first set of vaccinations just a few weeks ago. The vaccination schedule is rather crowded for little ones, as we work to get his immune system ready for the world around him. Here’s a recap of the vaccines your baby has already received, and an approximate schedule for the next several months.
Babies are given their first dose of the hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine very soon after birth.
Around this time, babies are given their second dose of HepB, and their first doses of five others:
- Rotavirus (RV)
- Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)
- Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
At this stage, babies are ready for second doses (or “boosters”) of the five vaccines they received at 2 months of age.
Depending on the types of RV and Hib vaccines given, your child may need a third dose of each at 6 months old. He’ll also be ready for his next DTaP and PCV13 boosters. In addition, at 6 months old, your baby is ready for the flu shot (either now, depending on the season, or when flu season is approaching).
The HepB and polio boosters are typically administered sometime between 6 months and 15 months of age, so their schedule will depend on your pediatrician’s recommendation. Otherwise, there may be no vaccinations needed at this checkup.
Somewhere during this timeframe, your baby should be given boosters for DTaP, Hib and PCV13, plus three new ones:
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (VAR)
- Hepatitis A (HepA)
Some babies may require an alternative vaccination schedule. For example, if you’ll be taking your child on an international trip, he may need the MMR vaccine as early as the six-month mark. Other babies who have certain health conditions may need to bypass one or more vaccines, or receive extra vaccinations, such as meningococcal. Your pediatrician can tell you if your child needs an alternative vaccination schedule.