Learn about Vaccines with Interactive Guide

Vaccine Recommendations for Your Family Guide

Click through this interactive guide to learn about vaccines recommended for you and your family and about vaccine-preventable diseases like whooping cough, flu and HPV cancers.

Vaccines play an important role in keeping you and your family healthy. Getting vaccines on time according the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule provides the best protection from many serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.

To encourage on-time immunization, CDC offers an interactive guide to help families find information about recommended vaccines from birth through adulthood, including pregnancy. Click through this guide to learn about vaccine-preventable diseases—like flu, whooping cough, and HPV cancers.

Growing Up with Vaccines: Using This Interactive Guide

Click through various stages of life, starting at pregnancy, to learn about the protection recommended vaccines can provide. Or use the menu (the horizontal lines at the top right) to see age-specific information. The guide features a vaccine guide you can print and take to you or your loved one’s next doctor’s appointment.

From birth through adulthood, you can protect yourself and your family from potentially serious diseases through on-time immunization:


Illustration of a pregnant woman

During pregnancy, you share everything with your baby. By staying up to date with vaccines before and during pregnancy, you can pass along protection that will protect your baby from some diseases, like flu and whooping cough, during the first few months after birth.

Learn more about the vaccines recommended before and during pregnancy.

Infant and Toddler Years

Illustration of two children coloring

The CDC’s recommended schedule is designed to protect children early in life, before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Children need more than one dose of most vaccines for best protection. These additional doses:

  • Build high enough immunity to prevent disease.
  • Boost immunity that weakens over time.
  • Make sure children who do not get immunity from the first dose are protected.
  • Protect against germs that can change over time, such as flu.

Learn more about the recommended vaccines for infants and toddlers.

Preschool and Elementary School Years

Illustration of a school and school bus

From ages 4 through 6, your child needs additional doses of some vaccines to provide the best protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. If your child had all recommended vaccines through age 6, he or she will just need an annual flu vaccine by the end of each October, if possible.

If your child has missed any vaccines, work with your doctor or nurse to catch up. Keep in mind that your child’s school may require a certificate of immunization to enroll.

Learn more about the recommended vaccines for preschool and elementary school years.

Preteen and Teen Years

Illustration of two young girls playing soccer

As protection from childhood vaccines wears off, preteens need booster shots to extend protection against diseases. Adolescents also need protection from other diseases, like cancer-causing HPV infections, before the risk of exposure increases. Your child should get a seasonal flu vaccine every year by the end of October, if possible.

Check to see if your child needs additional vaccines if they plan to travel outside the United States, and make sure all their vaccination records are up to date before he or she heads to college.

Learn more about the recommended vaccines for preteen and teen years.


Illustration of couple holding baby and standing in front of house

While you are busy keeping your child’s vaccine’s up to date, don’t forget about yourself! All adults need a flu vaccine every year by the end of October, if possible. Also, Td vaccine is recommended every ten years. Adults may need other vaccines based on age, health conditions, job, lifestyle, or travel habits. Learn which vaccines are recommended for you by taking CDC’s adult vaccination quiz.

Learn more about the vaccines recommended for adults.

Tips for Navigating Vaccinations with Your Family

  • Visit CDC’s interactive guide to learn more about the specific vaccines that you and your family need to stay safe from vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Talk to your healthcare professional about vaccines recommended for you and your family.
  • Encourage your family to stay up to date on the vaccines recommended for them.
Page last reviewed: July 30, 2018