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Childhood Immunization Schedule

Vaccines work best when given at the recommended times. Measles vaccine, for example, is usually given to a baby between 12 and 15 months of age. If given earlier, it may not be as effective. DTP (diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis), polio, HIB and hepatitis B vaccines must be given in a series of doses or shots. Catch-up vaccinations can be given if the child did not get vaccinations at the recommended times. But delays in starting immunizations result in a delay in the child's protection against these dangerous diseases.

The full series of 12 to 16 required immunizations can be given in five visits to your health care provider. The recommended childhood immunization schedule includes four doses of diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTP) or diphtheria/tetanus/acellular pertussis (DtaP); three doses of polio; one dose of measles/mumps/rubella (MMR); four doses of H. influenzae type B (HIB); three doses of hepatitis B; and one dose of varicella (chickenpox) -- all before 2 years of age.

Child Immunization Schedule

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Vaccines are listed under the routinely recommended ages. BARSindicate range of acceptable ages for vaccination. SHADED BARS indicate catch-up vaccination: at 11-12 years, Hepatitis B vaccine should be administered to children not previously vaccinated, and Varicella Virus vaccine should be administered to unvaccinated children who lack a reliable history of chickenpox.

Hepatitis B vaccine (Hep B). All infants should receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine soon after birth and before hospital discharge; the first dose may also be given by age 2 months if the infant's mother is HBsAg-negative. Only monovalent hepatitis B vaccine can be used for the birth dose. Monovalent or combination vaccine containing Hep B may be used to complete the series; four doses of vaccine may be administered if combination vaccine is used. The second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose, except for Hib-containing vaccine, which cannot be administered before age 6 weeks. The third dose should be given at least 16 weeks after the first dose and at least 8 weeks after the second dose. The last dose in the vaccination series (third or fourth dose) should not be administered before age 6 months.

Infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers should receive hepatitis B vaccine and 0.5 mL hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth at separate sites. The second dose is recommended at age 1-2 months and the vaccination series should be completed (third or fourth dose) at age 6 months.

Infants born to mothers whose HBsAg status is unknown should receive the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine series within 12 hours of birth. Maternal blood should be drawn at the time of delivery to determine the mother's HBsAg status; if the HBsAg test is positive, the infant should receive HBIG as soon as possible (no later than age 1 week).

Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP).The fourth dose of DTaP may be administered as early as age 12 months, provided 6 months have elapsed since the third dose and the child is unlikely to return at age 15-18 months. Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td) is recommended at age 11-12 years if at least 5 years have elapsed since the last dose of tetanus and diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine. Subsequent routine Td boosters are recommended every 10 years.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine. Three Hib conjugate vaccines are licensed for infant use. If PRP-OMP (PedvaxHIB® or ComVax® [Merck]) is administered at ages 2 and 4 months, a dose at age 6 months is not required. DTaP/ Hib combination products should not be used for primary immunization in infants at age 2, 4 or 6 months, but can be used as boosters following any Hib vaccine.

Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). An all-IPV schedule is recommended for routine childhood poliovirus vaccination in the United States. All children should receive four doses of IPV at age 2 months, 4 months, 6-18 months, and 4-6 years.

Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR). The second dose of MMR is recommended routinely at age 4-6 years but may be administered during any visit, provided at least 4 weeks have elapsed since the first dose and that both doses are administered beginning at or after age 12 months. Those who have not previously received the second dose should complete the schedule by the visit at age 11-12 years.

Varicella vaccine. Varicella vaccine is recommended at any visit at or after age 12 months for susceptible children (i.e., those who lack a reliable history of chickenpox). Susceptible persons aged >13 years should receive two doses, given at least 4 weeks apart.

Pneumococcal vaccine. The heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is recommended for all children aged 2-23 months and for certain children aged 24-59 months. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is recommended in addition to PCV for certain high-risk groups. See MMWR 2000; 49( RR-9); 1-37.

Hepatitis A vaccine. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for use in selected states and regions, and for certain high-risk groups; consult your local public health authority. See MMWR 1999; 48( RR-12); 1-37.

Influenza vaccine. Influenza vaccine is recommended annually for children age > 6 months with certain risk factors (including but not limited to asthma, cardiac disease, sickle cell disease, HIV and diabetes; see MMWR 2001; 50( RR-4); 1-44), and can be administered to all others wishing to obtain immunity. Children aged <12 years should receive vaccine in a dosage appropriate for their age (0. 25 mL if age 6- 35 months or 0. 5 mL if aged >3 years). Children aged < 8 years who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time should receive two doses separated by at least 4 weeks.

Additional information about vaccines, vaccine supply, and contraindications for immunization, is available at or at the National Immunization Hotline, 800- 232- 2522 (English) or 800- 232- 0233 (Spanish).

The following recommendations were developed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Parents should consult with a health care provider about vaccination schedules.

For additional information about immunizations call the Help Me Grow Hotline at 800-323- GROW (Voice and TTY). Illinois Department of Public Health

Last updated 11/13/02

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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