Child Vaccinations

Babies are born with protection against certain diseases because antibodies are passed to them through their mother’s placenta. They can receive even more antibodies from breast milk. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains these antibodies do not last long, leaving an infant vulnerable to many serious illnesses— like diphtheria, measles, meningitis, polio, tetanus, or whooping cough — and they will continue to be at risk if they are not immunized beginning at an early age.

Nipping Disease in the Bud

By Laura Childers

According to the Cleveland Clinic, childhood diseases are a far greater health risk to children than the vaccines themselves. Data from the World Health Organization shows that serious adverse events are extremely rare (one per thousands to one per millions of doses), and some are so rare that risk cannot be accurately assessed.

If you have reservations about vaccines, discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor. Your pediatrician knows that you care about your child’s health, and can help you sort through the facts before you make a decision. Vaccinations usually start when your child is 2 months old and most are finished by age six. You can make sure your child is up to date on immunizations using the following chart from the CDC:

Vaccines Needed



HepB protects against hepatitis B

1-2 months

HepB (second round)

2 months


RV protects against rotavirus (most common cause of severe diarrhea in children)

DTaP protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough)

Hib protects again haemophilus influenzae type b (which causes epiglottis, bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, joint and skin infections)

PCV protects against pneumococcus (which causes pneumonia, ear infections, blood infections, meningitis, etc.)

IPV protects against polio

4 months

RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV, IPV (second round)

6 months

HepB, RV, DTaP, Hib, PCV, IPV (third round)

Flu (yearly)

Flu protects against influenza

1 year

Hib, PCV (fourth round)



HepA (2 doses spaced 6 months apart)

MMR protects against measles, mumps, and rubella

Varicella protects against chickenpox

HepA protects against hepatitis A

15 months

DTaP (fourth round)

4-6 years

DTaP (fifth round)

IPV (fourth round)

MMR (second round)

Varicella (second round)