Infant and Toddler Years: Ages 1 Through 3

As your child grows into the toddler years, he or she will need chickenpox (varicella) vaccine; measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine; and hepatitis A vaccine, as well as additional doses of vaccines administered in the first year. If your child missed any vaccines or fell behind on the recommended schedule in the first year, this is a good time to catch up.

Recommended Vaccines Protect Against These Diseases:

About chickenpox:

  • Chickenpox is a very contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).

  • Symptoms can include an itchy rash of blisters, tiredness, and a fever.

  • It can be serious and even life-threatening, especially in babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

CDC recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine:

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 A:

  • Hepatitis A is a serious, contagious liver disease caused by hepatitis A virus.

  • Symptoms can include fever, loss of appetite, tiredness, stomach pain, vomiting, dark urine, and yellow skin and eyes.

  • Infected children may not have symptoms, but may still pass the disease to others, such as parents and other caregivers.

CDC recommends two doses of hepatitis A 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:

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine protects against three serious diseases.

About measles:

  • Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person.

  • It can cause a fever that can get very high, a distinctive rash, a cough, a runny nose, and red eyes. In some cases, it can also cause diarrhea and ear infection.

  • It can also lead to lung infection (pneumonia), brain damage, deafness, and death.

About mumps:

  • Mumps is caused by a virus that spreads through coughing and sneezing.

  • It typically starts with a fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then, most people’s salivary glands swell, which causes puffy cheeks and a swollen jaw.

  • Mumps is pretty mild in most people but can sometimes cause lasting problems, such as deafness; meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord); and swelling of the brain, testicles, ovaries, or breasts.

About rubella:

  • Rubella is a contagious disease caused by a virus.

  • It can cause a rash or fever, but many people have no symptoms.

  • Rubella can cause miscarriage or serious birth defects in a developing baby if a woman is infected while she is pregnant. Infected children can spread rubella to pregnant women.

CDC recommends two doses of MMR vaccine:

Infants 6 through 11 months old should have one dose of MMR vaccine before traveling abroad.

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:

12 month
well visit
15 month
well visit
18 month
well visit
2 year
well visit
2 ½ year
well visit
3 year
well visit
Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine 1st dose
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine 4th dose
Flu vaccine Every year, by the end of October if possible.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine 4th dose
Hepatitis A (HepA) vaccine 1st dose at 12-23 months 2nd dose 6 through 18 months following 1st dose
Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine 3rd dose (if not given earlier)
Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine 1st dose
Pneumococcal (PCV13) vaccine 4th dose
Polio (IPV) vaccine 3rd dose

Did you know?

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.

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