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Baby Vaccinations and Immunization Schedule

Updated on April 20, 2010

Baby vaccinations

The vaccinations also called immunizations are very effective and give infants power to resist contagious and serious health conditions. This will protect the babies against many diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, polio virus, hepatitis B and Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.This immunization and vaccination schedule may vary depending upon where you live, your child's health, the type of vaccine, and the vaccines available. Ask your doctor about which vaccines your child should receive. Check with your doctor or nurse to make sure your baby is getting immunized on time. Also make sure you ask your doctor or nurse to give you a record card with all the dates of your baby's shots and be sure to bring it to every visit.

Your baby need vaccinations or immunizations due to the following reasons. Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material in the infant's body. The importance of immunization is that it helps to protect the infant's body against any infectious disease. It offers the life- long protection and security to the infant against deadly diseases which might invade its body any time throughout its life.

Your baby's vaccination and immunization schedule may recommend the following vaccines:

  • Birth- Hepatitis B
  • 1-2 months- hepatitis B
  • 2 months- DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine, Hib vaccine, polio vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
  • 4 months- DTaP, Hib vaccine, polio vaccine, PCV.
  • 6 months- DTaP, Hib, polio (6-18 months), PCV, hepatitis B (6-18 months)
  • 12 months- MMR (12-15 months), Hib (12-15 months), chicken pox (12-18 months), PCV (12-15 months)
  • 15 months- DTap (12-18 months)

Always ask your health care provider for more details.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that babies receive the following vaccinations or immunizations (health care providers often use initials when they talk about these vaccinations):

Baby vaccinations schedule
Baby vaccinations schedule

1. Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccines (DTaP): Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are serious diseases caused by bacteria. Diphtheria and Pertussis are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts or wounds.

Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and nose. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis and heart attack.

Tetanus (Lockjaw) Vaccine: Tetanus causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to locking of the jaw so the baby cannot open his mouth or swallow.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) vaccine: Pertussis causes coughing spells so bad that is hard for babies to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks. It can lead to pneumonia, seizures and brain damage.

Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTaP) can help prevent these diseases. Most babies who are vaccinated with DTaP will be protected throughout childhood.

Babies should get 5 doses of DTaP vaccine or immunization, one dose at each of the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15-18 months
  • 4-6 years


Side effects of DTaP vaccine

  • Babies may get fever
  • Redness or swelling of the baby where the vaccine was given
  • Soreness or tenderness where the vaccine was given.
  • Some babies may get fussy after the vaccine was given.
  • Tiredness or poor appetite


2. Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) Vaccination

Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) disease is a serious disease caused by a bacteria. It usually strikes children under 5 years of age. Hib disease can cause pneumonia, severe swelling in the throat, making it hard for babies to breathe, infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart.

Babies should get 4 doses of Hib vaccine, one dose at each of the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12-15 months

Side effects of Hib vaccination

1. Babies may get fever

2. Redness or swelling of the baby where the vaccine was given.

Hib vaccine can prevent Hib disease.

3. Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a serious disease. Hepatitis B virus can cause short-term illness such as loss of appetite, diarrrhea and vomitting, tiredness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes). It can also cause long-term illness such as liver damage (cirrhosis) and liver cancer. Hepatitis B vaccine can prevent hepatitis B virus. It is the first anti-cancer vaccine because it can prevent a form of liver cancer.

Babies should get 3 doses of hepatitis vaccine according to the following schedule. If you miss a dose or get behind schedule, get the next dose as soon as you can. There is no need to start over.

  • Birth to 2 months of age
  • 1-4 months of age (at least 1 month after first dose)
  • 6-18 months of age

Side effects of Hepatitis B vaccine

1. Soreness of the baby where the vaccination or immunization shot was given, lasting a day or two.

2. Babies may get fever.

4. MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine:

MMR vaccine protects against 3 viruses: Measles, mumps and rubella (German measles). Many parents choose the MMRV vaccine instead of the MMR, except that it includes protection against the varicella virus, which causes chicken pox.

Measles is a highly contagious illness. The main symptoms are a fever, runny nose, cough, rash and eye irritation. Other complications include pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, seizures and brain damage.

Mumps is a viral infection that typically causes a fever, headache and inflammation of the glands under the jaw. It can lead to meningitis and encephalitis. It can also cause painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries.

Rubella also called German measles, is characterized by a pinkish red rash that starts on the face, a mild fever, and swollen lymph nodes. It's possible, however, to have rubella without any symptoms. Rubellais a mild illness that runs its course in about three days, but if a woman gets it during pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage or birth defects in her baby including deafness, eye problems, heart defects, and mental retardation.

Babies should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine according to the following schedule.

  • Between 12 to 15 months
  • Between 4 and 6 years old - although the second dose can be given at any time as long as it's at least 28 days after the first.

To track your baby's immunizations visit BabyCenter's Vaccination or Immunization Scheduler.

Side effects of MMR vaccine:

1. Baby may get fever.

2. Swelling and rashes can occur where the vaccine was given.

Baby immunization schedule
Baby immunization schedule

5. Polio Vaccine

Polio is a disease caused by a virus. It enters a child's (or adult's) body through the mouth. Sometimes it does not cause serious illness. But sometimes it causes paralysis. Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) can prevent polio. IPV is a shot, given in the leg or arm, depending on age. Most people should get polio vaccine when they are children. Children should get 4 doses of IPV at these ages.

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6-18 months
  • 4-6 years

Side effects of polio vaccine

Some babies who get IPV get a sore spot where the vaccine was given.

6. Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine:

Infection with streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria can cause serious illness. It is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the United states. (Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain).

Babies should get 4 doses of immunization, one dose at each of these ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12-15 months

The number of doses needed depends on the child's age. Always ask your health care provider for more details.

Side effects of Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine:

1. Baby may get fever.

2. Redness or swelling can occur where the vaccine was given.

3. Some baby also became fussy or drowsy, or had a loss of appetite.


You should always consult with your baby's health care provider or pediatrician for an exact vaccination and immunization schedule for your baby.


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