Types of Vaccinations

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)

    Your child should receive 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine. The first dose should be given at 12–15 months, and the second dose at 4–6 years.

    Varicella (chickenpox) is a viral infection that causes an itchy, blister-like rash. Chickenpox is highly contagious to children who haven’t had the disease or been vaccinated against it. It can lead to severe illness with complications such as infected blisters, pneumonia, bleeding disorders, swelling of the brain, and even death. Once an individual is infected with the varicella virus it remains in the body for life and may reappear as shingles once they are older. Before routine chickenpox vaccination, virtually all people had been infected by the time they reached adulthood, sometimes with serious complications. Today, the number of cases and hospitalizations is down dramatically.

    • Spread through coughing, sneezing, contact with pox
    • Rash can be severe
    • Complications: lung damage, brain damage, death
    • Especially dangerous for teens and adults
    • Minimum age for first dose is 12 months
    • Recommended: 12 months, 4-6 years
    • Can be given as early as 6 months, but will need to be repeated after 1st birthday
    • May be seen in a combination vaccine
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping cough)

    Your child should receive 5 doses of DTaP. The first dose should be given at 2 months, the second dose at 4 months, the third dose at 6 months, the fourth dose at 15–18 months, and the fifth dose at 4–6 years.

    Diphtheria is a serious bacterial disease that causes heart and nerve problems. The disease can be spread from an infected person (or someone who carries the bacteria but has no symptoms) by coughing and sneezing. Diphtheria can also be spread by contaminated objects or foods. Once infected, dangerous substances called toxins, caused by the bacteria, can spread through the bloodstream to other organs and cause significant damage such as injury to the heart, kidneys and other organs. Nerve damage and paralysis can also result.

    Tetanus, commonly known as lockjaw, is a severe disease that causes stiffness and spasms of the muscles. Unlike other vaccine-preventable diseases, which are transferred from person to person, tetanus bacteria are found in places such as soil/dirt, dust, and manure, and can therefore never be eradicated. They enter the body through any break in the skin, such as a cut or a puncture wound. A person can also be infected after a burn or animal bite. There’s no cure for tetanus. Treatment focuses on managing complications until the effects of the tetanus toxin resolve. Fatality is highest in individuals who haven’t been immunized.

    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. In many children, it’s marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like a “whoop.” Some babies with whooping cough don’t cough at all. Instead the disease can cause them to have a hard time breathing, or even stop breathing for short periods of time. People of all ages can be affected by pertussis. However, infants, particularly those younger than 1 year old, are at particularly high risk of severe complications, hospitalization and death. Most unvaccinated children living with a family member with pertussis will contract the disease. Pertussis is still common in the United States. Recently between 10,000 and 50,000 cases have been reported each year.

    • Recommended: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 4-6 years
    • Might see it in combination with other vaccines for infant doses and kindergarten dose.
    • All 11–12 year olds need a dose of Tdap. After that they will need a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) booster dose every ten years.
  • Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib)

    Your child should receive 3–4 doses of Hib vaccine (depending on the brand of vaccine). The first dose should be given at 2 months, the second dose at 4 months, the third dose at 6 months (if needed), and the last dose at 12–15 months.

    Haemophilus Influenzae type b (Hib) is a serious illness caused by a bacteria and often affects children under 5 years old. The most common types of serious Hib disease are meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia (lung infection), bacteremia (blood stream infection) and epiglottitis (infection and swelling of the throat). Hib disease can cause lifelong disability and be deadly. Hib spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Usually, the Hib bacteria stay in a person’s nose and throat and do not cause illness. But if the bacteria spread into the lungs or blood, the person will get very sick.

    • Spread through person to person contact
    • Complications: blindness, brain damage, paralysis, hearing loss, death
    • Leading cause of meningitis in kids under 5 before the vaccine (600 per year)
    • The number of doses that you will see is dependent upon which brand was used, and when the first dose was given
    • Recommended: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months
  • Hepatitis A

    Your child should receive 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine. The first dose should be given at age 1 year and the second 6-18 months later.

    Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread by contact with people who are infected or from contact with objects, food, water or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person, which can easily happen if someone doesn’t wash his or her hands after using the toilet.

    • Spread via fecal-oral route (often transmitted from contaminated food and water)
    • Complications: low energy for up to a year, death
    • Minimum age for first dose is 12 months
    • 2 dose series
    • Recommended: 12 months for dose 1, then 6 months later for 2nd dose
  • Hepatitis B

    Your child should receive 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine. The first dose should be given at birth, the second dose at 1–2 months, and the third dose at 6-18 months. Sometimes children receive 4 doses of hepatitis B vaccine if they are receiving a combination vaccine.

    Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. For some, hepatitis B infection becomes chronic, leading to liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis — a condition that causes permanent scarring of the liver. An individual who is unaware that they have hepatitis B can easily pass the disease on to an unvaccinated child when giving birth (spread from infected mother to baby), through contact with their blood from cuts or sores, or though actions as simple as the sharing of a toothbrush.

    • Disease: this disease affects the liver; it is transmitted via blood and bodily fluids
    • 90% of infants under the age of 1 year that contract Hep B have lifelong complications; 40% of people that are infected are asymptomatic
    • 3 dose series
    • Recommended: Birth, 2 months, 6 months
    • Last dose must be given after 24 weeks of age
    • May see 4 doses due to combinations vaccines
  • Influenza

    Every person, beginning at age 6 months and continuing throughout their lifetime, should receive yearly vaccination against influenza in the fall or winter. Vaccination is the most effective step you can take to be protected from this serious disease. Children under the age of 9 years may need 2 doses. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider to find out if your child needs more than 1 dose.

    Seasonal influenza (flu) is caused by viruses which infect the respiratory tract (the nose, throat and lungs). It is not the same as the common cold or the stomach “flu” viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. The flu season is unpredictable, but it often occurs from October to May and usually peaks between December and February. Serious complications of flu can result in hospitalization or death, even in healthy children. Children are at particularly high risk if they are less than 5 years of age or have chronic health conditions.

    • Influenza vaccination is recommended for all individuals ages 6 months and older
    • Flu vaccination has become mandatory for some healthcare providers, and is highly recommended by the CDC for all health care providers and all child care providers
    • Injectable flu
      • First dose given after 6 months of age
      • Booster dose may be needed 1 month later for children 8 years and younger
      • Persons aged 9 years and older will receive 1 dose every year
      • Egg allergy is no longer considered a contraindication for flu vaccination. Children with an egg allergy may be vaccinated at the discretion of the vaccine provider.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

    Your child should receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine. The first dose should be given at 12–15 months, and the second dose at 4–6 years.

    Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. The disease spreads quickly and can be serious or even fatal for small children. The disease kills hundreds of thousands of children a year around the world, most under the age of 5. Even in previously healthy children, measles can be a serious illness requiring hospitalization. As many as 1 out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, and about 1 child in every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis. (This is a swelling of the brain that can lead to convulsions, and can leave the child deaf or intellectually disabled.) Recently, measles has re-emerged as a threat in the United States, despite being eliminated in 2000. Outbreaks across the country have put children at risk.

    Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing and through close contact (even regular conversation) with infected people. The primary — and best known — sign of mumps is swollen salivary glands that cause the cheeks to puff out. While usually a mild disease, mumps can also cause complications such as meningitis (swelling of the brain and spinal cord) and deafness. In addition, about one out of every four teenage or adult men who get mumps will develop a painful swelling of the testicles which can, although rarely, lead to sterility. Outbreaks across the country continue to put people at risk.

    Rubella, also called German measles, is a contagious viral infection best known by its distinctive red rash. While the disease is usually mild in children and adults, rubella can be very dangerous for pregnant women and their babies. If a pregnant women is infected with the disease it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and/or birth defects such as heart problems, hearing and vision loss, intellectual disabilities (also known as mental retardation), and liver or spleen damage. This group of health problems is called congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). The virus can spread to others through sneezing or coughing.

    • Measles – spread through coughing and sneezing, can be in the air of a room for up to 2 hours after contagious person has left, one of the most infectious diseases in the world
    • Mumps – spread through coughing and sneezing or talking, swollen glands, complications include deafness, brain damage, sterility in males
    • Rubella (German Measles) – spread through coughing and sneezing, very dangerous to pregnant women due to causing severe birth defects and miscarriage
    • Minimum age for first dose is 12 months
    • Recommended: 12 months, 4-6 years
    • Can be given as early as 6 months (for travel), but will need to be repeated after 1st birthday
    • May be seen in a combination vaccine
  • Meningococcal

    There are two different kinds of meningococcal vaccine. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) is recommended for infants and children with certain health conditions. Meningococcal B vaccine (MenB) is recommended for children as young as 10 years with certain health conditions. Talk with your healthcare provider to find out if your child needs either of these vaccines. Two doses of MenACWY vaccine are recommended for all children starting at age 11 years.

    Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness and the leading cause of meningitis in children ages 2 through 18. Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal disease can also cause blood infections. Approximately 1,000 get meningococcal disease each year in the U.S. and 10–15 percent of these people die. Of those who survive, about 1 in 5 will have permanent disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss, loss of kidney function or limb amputations.

    Men B (Meningococcal B)

    • Disease: Inflammation of the covering that surrounds the spinal cord and brain; progresses quickly, can cause need to amputate limbs, can also quickly lead to death
    • Recommended: 16 years, second dose depends on brand used
    • 2 Brands: Bexsero and Trumenba
      • Bexsero – 2 dose series (separated by at least 1 month)
      • Trumenba – 2 dose series (separated by 6 months), 3 dose series for high risk individuals
      • NOTE: These 2 vaccines are NOT interchangeable – the same vaccine must be used for all doses
  • Pneumococcal (PCV 13)

    Your child should receive 4 doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The first dose is given at 2 months, the second dose at 4 months, the third at 6 months, and the fourth at 12–15 months. Some children need an additional dose of pneumococcal vaccine. Check with your healthcare provider to see if your child needs extra protection against pneumococcal disease.

    Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria that are present in many children’s noses and throats. It is still unknown why it suddenly invades the body and causes disease in some children. Pneumococcal disease is spread by coughing and sneezing. Serious pneumococcal infections are most common in infants, toddlers and the elderly. Meningitis is the most severe type of invasive pneumococcal disease. Of children younger than 5 years old who get pneumococcal meningitis, about 1 out of 10 dies and others may have long-term problems, such as hearing loss or developmental delay. Bacteremia (bacteria in the bloodstream) is also a type of invasive pneumococcal disease. About 4 out of 100 children with this blood stream infection will die from it. Other types of pneumococcal disease include pneumonia, middle ear infections and sinus infections.

    • Spread via coughing and sneezing
    • Complications include: pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis (infection of the blood), brain damage, and ear and sinus infections
    • Recommended: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months
  • Polio (IPV)

    Your child should receive 4 doses of polio vaccine (IPV). The first dose is given at 2 months, the second dose at 4 months, the third dose at 6–18 months, and the fourth dose at 4–6 years.

    Polio is a potentially crippling and deadly disease caused by a virus that spreads from person to person. It can invade the brain and spinal cord resulting in paralysis. Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century with annual epidemics, primarily during the summer months. This often left thousands of victims — mostly children — permanently in braces, crutches, wheelchairs or in iron lungs. Because polio can paralyze the diaphragm, in the 1940s and 1950s, entire wards of hospitals housed polio victims who were dependent on large iron lungs to breathe for them.

    • Spread via fecal oral route
    • Can cause paralyzed arms and legs, inability to breathe, death
    • Before vaccine, 13, 000 to 20,000 paralytic cases per year
    • Recommended: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 4-6 years
    • OPV indicates oral polio, which is no longer used in the United States
  • Rotavirus (RV)

    Your child needs 2–3 doses of rotavirus vaccine (RV), depending on the brand of vaccine. The first dose is given at 2 months, the second dose at 4 months, and the third dose (if needed) at 6 months.

    Rotavirus is a virus that causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). Severe dehydration from rotavirus can require intravenous fluids in the hospital for the child. Dehydration is a serious complication of the illness and a major cause of childhood deaths in developing countries. Rotavirus is responsible for an estimated 453,000 deaths among infants around the world each year.

    • RV is a GI disease that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea
    • Administered orally
    • Recommended: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months
    • 2 brands:
      • Rotarix – 2 dose series
      • Rotateq – 3 dose series
    • If more than one brand is used, 3 doses are needed
    • Must start by 14 weeks and 6 days of age, and complete the series by 8 months of age
  • Human papillomavirus

    All preteens – both boys and girls – should get 2 doses of HPV vaccine at 11 or 12 years of age. The vaccine protects against HPV (the most common cause of cervical cancer) and several other types of cancers.

Thanks to our community partners

PHP Foundation
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation
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