The First Year

Vaccination is a big part of giving children a healthy start in their first year. In fact, your baby needs one vaccine right away. Make sure your baby gets the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth.

More than one dose is necessary for many vaccines. Additional vaccine doses will:

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

Recommended Vaccines Protect Against These Diseases:

Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine protects against three serious diseases.

About diphtheria:
  • Diphtheria is a serious infection caused by bacteria that spread through coughing and sneezing.

  • Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the nose or throat.

  • It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death.

About tetanus:
  • Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteria that usually enter the body through breaks in the skin.

  • The bacteria produce a poison that causes painful muscle stiffness and lockjaw. It can be deadly.

About pertussis (whooping cough):
  • Whooping cough, or pertussis, is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing that often makes it hard to breathe.

  • Babies may not cough very much or even at all. However, babies may have long pauses in breathing.

  • It is highly contagious and can be deadly to babies.

  • Since 2010, states report tens of thousands of whooping cough cases each year in the United States.

CDC recommends five doses of DTaP vaccine:

About the flu:

  • Flu is a potentially serious, contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can lead to hospitalization and even death.

  • Every year, millions of people get the flu, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized, and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes.

  • Flu vaccination can prevent illness, doctors’ visits, missed work and school, as well as flu-related hospitalizations.

  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated death in children by nearly half, according to a recent CDC study.

Flu vaccine recommendations:

  • CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a yearly seasonal flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible, to ensure the best available protection against flu.

  • Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine should get two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart.

To learn more about protecting you and your family from flu each year, check CDC’s annual recommendations or talk to your doctor.

About haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib):

  • Hib is a type of bacteria that causes Hib disease.

  • Hib disease ranges from mild ear infections to serious bloodstream infections. Lung infection (pneumonia) and infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) are also common types of Hib disease.

  • Hib disease can cause brain damage, hearing loss, or even death. As many as 1 in 5 children who survive Hib meningitis will have brain damage or become deaf.

  • Before the vaccine, about 20,000 children under the age of 5 developed serious Hib infections each year.

CDC recommends three or four doses (depending on the brand) of Hib vaccine:

About hepatitis B:

  • Hepatitis B is a virus that can cause chronic swelling of the liver and possible lifelong complications.

  • Your baby needs the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth.

  • Nine out of 10 infants who contract hepatitis B from their mothers become chronically infected.

  • Every year, more than 780,000 people die from complications from hepatitis B.

CDC recommends that your child get 3 doses of the hepatitis B shot for best protection at the following ages:

About pneumococcal disease:

  • Pneumococcal disease is an illness caused by bacteria.

  • Pneumococcal infections can range from ear and sinus infections, to infections of the lungs (pneumonia), lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), and bloodstream.

  • Serious pneumococcal infections can cause lifelong disability or death.

CDC recommends four doses of PCV13 vaccine:

About polio:

  • Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that can invade the brain and spinal cord.

  • It can cause lifelong paralysis and even death.

  • With vaccination, polio has been eliminated in the United States, but it is still a threat in some other countries.

CDC recommends four doses of polio (IPV) vaccine:

About rotavirus:

  • Rotavirus is a contagious virus that causes severe diarrhea, often with vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain, requiring hospitalization.

  • It is most common in infants and young children.

  • Adults who get rotavirus tend to have milder symptoms.

CDC recommends two or three doses (depending on the brand) of rotavirus vaccine:

Shortly
after birth
2 month
well visit
4 month
well visit
6 month
well visit
9 month
well visit
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine 1st dose 2nd dose 3rd dose
Flu vaccine Every year starting at age 6 months, by the end of October.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine 1st dose 2nd dose 3rd dose
Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine 1st dose 2nd dose 3rd dose
Pneumococcal (PCV13) vaccine 1st dose 2nd dose 3rd dose
Polio (IPV) vaccine 1st dose 2nd dose 3rd dose
Rotavirus (RV) vaccine 1st dose 2nd dose 3rd dose (for RotaTeq brand)

Did you know?

With vaccination, polio has been eliminated in the United States, but it is still a threat in some other countries.

See what’s next.