Vaccines Shortly after Birth

Image of an infant sleeping

Vaccinations are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.

CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older. If your child has not gotten vaccinated yet, talk to his or her doctor about getting it as soon as possible.

Vaccines your baby should get

Whether you’re becoming a parent for the first time or you’ve been here before, your baby’s birth is an exciting time. This is also the first time your infant will be vaccinated—your first opportunity to protect your child from serious diseases.

Hepatitis B (HepB)

1st dose of 3

Hepatitis B is an infectious and potentially serious disease that can cause liver damage and liver cancer. There is no cure for hepatitis B. Mothers can unknowingly pass the hepatitis B virus to their babies at birth, which is why babies should get their first dose within 24 hours of birth.

See Related: Hepatitis B vaccination

If you have hepatitis B, your baby should get the first shot of hepatitis vaccine within 12 hours of birth. There’s additional medicine that can help protect your newborn against hepatitis B; it’s called hepatitis B immune globin (HBIG). HBIG gives your baby’s body extra help to fight the virus as soon as your baby is born.

See Related: Hepatitis B vaccination

Additional protection for your baby during RSV season

Babies who are newborns and less than one month old should receive an RSV immunization to protect them against severe RSV disease. This dose should be given within a baby’s first week.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

1 Dose

RSV is a common cause of severe respiratory illness in infants and young children. Those infected with RSV can have difficulty breathing and eating, and sometimes may need respiratory support or hydration in the hospital. An RSV immunization uses monoclonal antibodies  to protect infants and young children from severe RSV disease. This immunization gives your baby’s body extra help to fight an RSV infection.

Infants younger than 8 months old during RSV season (typically fall through spring) should get a one-dose RSV immunization to protect them against RSV. This dose should be given shortly before or during the RSV season.

Care for your child after vaccinations

Call 911 if you think your child might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site.

Give your child extra care and attention

Pay extra attention to your baby for a few days. If you see something that concerns you, call your baby’s doctor.

  • Read the Vaccine Information Sheet(s) your baby’s doctor gave you to learn about side effects your baby may experience.
  • Swaddle.
  • Offer breastmilk or formula more often. It is normal for some babies to eat less during the 24 hours after getting vaccines.

Treat mild reactions

Sometimes children have mild reactions from vaccines, such as pain at the injection site or a rash. These reactions, also called side effects, are normal and will soon go away.

  • Use a cool, damp cloth to help reduce redness, soreness, and/or swelling at the injection site.
  • Reduce fever with a cool sponge bath.
  • Ask your baby’s doctor if you can give your baby a non-aspirin pain reliever.
What vaccines does my child need?
Follow the vaccine schedule

See which vaccines your child needs to stay on-track with routine vaccinations.

Birth to 6 years

7 to 18 years

Get a personalized list

Take a short quiz to get a list of vaccines your child may need based on their age, health conditions, and other factors.

Child vaccine quiz