Your child should receive her first immunization (vaccine) before she leaves the hospital after being born, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The first vaccine is an HBV (also called Hep B) shot to protect against hepatitis B. Here's how the CDC recommends children up to 2 years old be immunized after that initial shot:
- at age 2 months — a second hepatitis B shot, plus the first doses of DTaP (for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), IPV (polio), PCV (protects against the pneumococcal bacteria that can cause ear infections and other serious infections), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) and RV (rotavirus, the most common stomach virus).
- at age 4 months — additional doses of DTaP, IPV, PCV, Hib and RV.
- at age 6 months — additional doses of DTaP, PCV, Hib and RV. The final doses of HepB and IPV can be given between 6 and 18 months.
- at age 12 to 15 months — the first MMR (protects against measles, mumps and rubella), and varicella (chickenpox), as well as final doses of PCV and Hib. The first HepA (hepatitis A) dose may be given between 12 and 23 months.
- at age 15 months — the final DTaP.
Your child should also get a flu vaccine every year once she's 6 months old.