Immunization Chart For Children - Everything You Need To Know

Immunization Schedule For Children

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Are you looking for immunization information for your baby? Have you begun following the vaccination chart, and has he crossed a few years of immunization? Do you want to stay up to date about all the different shots that your child will have to take over years? Are you pregnant and want to know of the immunization schedule for children to follow for the years ahead?

If you wish to know about the vaccine schedule for children, read our post. Here we list some important details about the vaccinations that your child will receive and at what age.

Detailed Immunization Schedule For Children:

Here is a detailed immunization chart for children from birth till 18 years of age: (1)

1. At Birth:

At the time of the birth, the first dose of Hepatitis B1 or HepB will be given to your little one.

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a type of virus that damages the liver. Most babies who have hepatitis B suffer from the chronic form of the infection or hepatitis B. In most cases; there may be no visible symptoms of the condition. A baby or child can contract the virus by coming into contact with the blood or the bodily fluids of infected people. If a pregnant woman has Hepatitis B, the baby will also inherit the infection at the time of birth. It is important to get a proper hepatitis B screening when you know that you are pregnant. If the mother does have a positive reading for hepatitis B infection, the baby will be given preventive immunization right at the time of birth (2).

[ Read: Types Of Hepatitis In Children ]

2. Between 1st And 2nd Month:

Between the first and second month, your doctor will give your baby the second dose of hepatitis B or Hep B. Please speak to your doctor to know when your baby will be given the same.

3. At 2nd Month:

Once your baby is two months old, your baby’s doctor will give your baby the first dose of the following vaccines:

The child immunization schedule for 2nd month are as follows. Also, these vaccinations will be given as a single shot:

  • Rotavirus (RV)
  • RV1 (2 dose series)
  • RV5 (3 dose series)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b5 (Hib)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate6 (PCV13)
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)

What Is Rotavirus?

Rotavirus is a type of virus that causes an infection in the intestinal tract of children who are below the age of five years. In many cases, children can contract rotavirus infection more than once, but the first time that the virus strikes them down is the most dangerous of all. Rotavirus leads to a severe form of diarrhea and stomach upset in babies and children. The rotavirus infection can spread fast and is most common during the winter and early spring season. It usually spreads from the stool of an infected child to another and is mostly passed in places where babies share space, such as a daycare center (3).

[ Read: Symptoms Of Rotavirus In Children ]

The following vaccinations will be given as a single shot known as DTAP.

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Acellular pertussis

What Is Diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a highly contagious and fatal infection that spreads through bacteria and affects the nose, throat and sometimes even the skin. Diphtheria can usually spread through the affected person’s sneezing or coughing. It can also spread if someone comes in direct contact with contaminated surfaces, such as bedding or clothes. Babies and young children are at special risk of contracting diphtheria as their immune systems are still not developed enough and hence are weak (4).

What Is Tetanus?

Tetanus is a dangerous form of nerve disease in which the nerve gets damaged due to the toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The bacteria are mostly found in cultivated soil and are also present in the dust mites present inside the house, the excrement of animals as well as the human colon. When the bacteria enter the skin through any wound, it can go deeper in the child’s system, even farther than anywhere oxygen can reach. Once there, the bacteria germinate and release a toxin that then enters the bloodstream of the child. Tetanus can cause muscle contractions and spasms in the jaw (5).

[ Read: Bacterial Infections In Children ]

What Is The Acellular Pertussis Vaccination?

The acellular pertussis vaccination is a type of vaccination that is diphtheria and tetanus antigen (6).

What Is Haemophilus Influenzae Type b5 (Hib)?

The Haemophilus influenza type b5 occurs due to the Haemophilus influenza type b bacteria. It is a serious illness that mostly affects babies and children less than five years old. The disease can lead to lifetime disabilities and in severe cases, can also be fatal. The disease is contagious and spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes in front of a non-infected person. The disease can spread through surface contact with the contaminated source. The Hib bacteria are present in the throat and nose of the infected person. When it spreads to other parts, such as the bloodstream or the lungs, it can prove to be dangerous and even fatal. In some cases, the condition can cause deafness or even lead to brain damage (7).

What Is Pneumococcal conjugate6 (PCV13)?

The pneumococcal conjugate6 (PCV13) vaccine helps infants and toddlers, as well as older children, safe from certain health conditions that are part of pneumococcal diseases. A pneumococcal disease is caused by the Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, and it spreads from close contact with the infected person. Pneumococcal disease can cause various health issues such as pneumonia, meningitis, ear infections and even blood infections. The disease mostly affects children who are younger than two years of age, and in severe cases, it can also be fatal. It is important to prevent pneumococcal disease with vaccinations, as the disease can be hard to treat (8).

What Is Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV)?

The inactivated poliovirus IPV, prevents Polio or poliomyelitis. Polio is a type of viral disease that damages the nerves and leads to partial or complete paralysis. It is mostly dangerous for babies and young children. The virus can spread when the baby or child comes into contact with the feces, mucus or phlegm of the affected person or that is already contaminated. IPV is effective in more than 90 percent cases, and most governments ensure the vaccination is available to babies and children for the first five years of their life (9).

[ Read: Symptoms Of Polio In Children ]

4. At 4th Month:

Once your baby is four months old, your baby’s doctor will give the following second dose vaccination as part of a single shot. The childhood immunization schedule for 4th month include:

  • Rotavirus (RV)
  • RV1 (2 dose series)
  • RV5 (3 dose series)
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Acellular pertussis
  • Your baby’s doctor will also give your baby the second dose vaccination for the following conditions as a single shot known as DTAP:
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Acellular pertussis
  • At four months of age, your doctor will also give the following vaccinations to your baby as part of the second dosage for the vaccination that was earlier given to your baby in the second month:
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b5 (Hib)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate6 (PCV13)
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate6 (PCV13)

5. At 6th Month:

Once your baby is six months old, your baby’s doctor will give the following third dose vaccination as part of a single shot known as DTAP.

6. Between The 6th To 18th Month:

Between the sixth and the 18th month, your baby will receive many vaccination shots that will be a follow-up to a series of previous shots. You can always speak to your doctor to know which vaccination will be given at which month. Here are a few repeat shots of childhood vaccine schedule that your baby’s doctor will administer to your baby:

  • Hepatitis B1 or HepB
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)

7. Between The 6th To 23rd Month:

Between the sixth and 23rd month, your baby will receive an annual vaccination as part of one or two doses for the following:

  • Influenza
  • Third or fourth dose of Haemophilus influenza type b5 (Hib)
  • Fourth dose of pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)

What Is Influenza?

Influenza is a type of viral infection, which occurs due to the influenza virus A and B. It can lead to body pain, fever, a dry or a sore throat, coughing and other symptoms that are mostly related to cold and fever. In most cases, it takes about one to two weeks to be completely cured of influenza, with the first three or four days being the worst in terms of symptoms. While it is otherwise not dangerous, influenza can lead to other serious health issues like bronchitis, sinus or even an ear infection. In a few cases, Influenza can also lead to pneumonia (10).

[ Read: Influenza Vaccine For Children ]

8. Between The 12th To 15th Month:

Once your baby is between 12 and 15 months of age, your baby’s doctor will administer the following vaccinations:

  • First dose of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • First dose of varicella (VAR)

What Is The MMR Vaccine?

The MMR vaccine is short for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination. Measles is a viral infection that causes red rashes all over the body, accompanied by fever as well as other symptoms of cold and cough. Babies and children who contract measles can often come down with a runny nose along with red and watery eyes that sometimes feels itchy. Mumps is a type of viral infection which affects the lymph nodes near the jaw. Babies or children who have mumps will often experience fever along with a headache as well as pain in other parts of the body. Rubella is also known as German measles. It is also a viral infection in which the baby or child will come down with mild rashes all over the body as well as fever. It will also cause red and watery eyes that can sometimes feel itchy, as well as a headache and pain in other parts of the body (11).

[ Read: Fungal Infections In Children ]

What Is Varicella?

Varicella is the medical name for the condition known as chickenpox. It is a common childhood illness and affects most babies and children as they grow. The disease occurs due to the virus varicella zoster and hence the medical name of chickenpox is varicella, referring to the virus that causes it. Babies and children who suffer from chickenpox exhibit symptoms like red rashes on their skin, which eventually fill up with liquid pus and soon turn itchy or flaky. Once the infection progresses, the blisters will start healing and drying up, and will turn into scabs with a flaky crust. As the infection nears its end, the flaky crust will fall off from the skin. Chickenpox is a contagious disease and can sometimes lead to infection in the scabs if the affected baby or child scratches it. In some severe cases, chickenpox can also lead to pneumonia or encephalitis, which can lead to many serious complications (12).

[ Read: Treatment For Chickenpox In Children ]

9. Between 12 And 23 Months:

The recommended childhood immunization schedule between the 12th and the 23rd month are as follows. Your baby will get a fresh dose of the following vaccinations:

  • Hepatitis A (HepA) as part of a two-dose series
  • Influenza
  • Influenza
  • The fifth dose of diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTAP)
  • The fourth dose of inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
  • The second dose of varicella (VAR)
  • The second dose of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Influenza
  • A single dose of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (TDAP)
  • A three-dose vaccination of human papillomavirus (HPV2 is given to only females while HPV4 can be given to both males and females)
  • The first dose of meningococcal

[ Read: Meningitis In Children ]

What Is Human Papillomavirus?

The human papillomavirus vaccine helps protect against various HPV infections and other health issues that can arise due to the infection. While some of the vaccinations are given only to girls to help prevent cervical cancer, other ones can be given to both girls and boys and help to keep them protected against anal cancer or genital warts. The HPV vaccinations are given in succession over a short period, to help girls and boys develop better immune response by the time they become sexually active. As this is a very important vaccination, make sure you speak to your child’s doctor in case the vaccination was not given or was stopped midway (13).

10. Between 2 To 6 Years:

Between the second and the sixth year, your child will receive fresh annual vaccinations.

11. Between 4 To 6 Years:

Once your child is between the four and six years age phase, your pediatrician will administer some vaccinations as a follow-up.

12. Between 7th And 18th Year:

Between the seventh and the 18th year, your child will get an annual vaccination.

13. Between 11th And 12th Year:

Once your child is between 11 and 12 years of age, the doctor will administer various vaccinations.

14. Between 16th And 18th Year:

While your child is between 16 and 18 years of age, the doctor will give the following vaccination:

  • Booster shot

What Is A Booster Shot?

A booster dose is usually a re-administration of a vaccine that your child received earlier. Once your child receives the original vaccine, doctors administer a booster dose after a few years to help increase the child’s immunity to the said infection. Make sure you speak to your child’s doctor to know what the booster shot will help your child fight (14).

Before After, And During The Shots:

Here is some information about what you should do before, during and after the shots to help ease his worries, especially if your child is scared about the idea of getting a vaccination.

How To Make Vaccination Less Painful And Scary For Your Baby:

Taking your baby for a vaccination appointment can be quite a traumatic experience, both for your little one as well as for you. If you always seem to struggle to calm your little one’s fears or keep him under control, try the following tips that might come of use:

Take your baby or child’s favorite toy, book or other stuff along as a source of comfort.

If you are still breastfeeding your baby, you can always continue to do so while your baby receives the shot. It will help your baby stay calmer and will also ease the pain by distracting your little one.

If your child is old enough to understand you, explain the vaccination process to him. Try to keep things honest, tell him that it might just sting a little, but for a little time, there is nothing to fear.

Read about the particular vaccination before you take your child for the shot. Once you know what the shot is for, you can it to your little one, and he will know why he needs that shot. It will help him be calm, and it will be easy for you to manage him.

If you have an older child, you can ask the sibling to come along as moral support.

Never force your child into the vaccination procedure by telling him scary stories of what might happen if he doesn’t take that shot. Don’t tell him stuff like ‘you will not grow tall, if you don’t take this shot’. It can be quite traumatic for your kid. So, remember to keep it honest and practical.

Show your child that you will be there through the vaccination and that your child is not alone. You can hold your child’s hand as a show of support and care. If there are children who are coming out of the doctor’s office after getting a vaccination, tell your child that the other children have also taken the injection. Make your child understand that it is something that children this particular age are supposed to get to stay healthy.

If your child is crying during or before the shot, do not scold or humiliate your child. Instead, offer support and comfort and tell them that even though it is hurting right now, it will be better soon.

[ Read: Child Vaccination Chart India ]

After The Shots:

Once the doctor has administered the shot, you can help soothe your little one. Consider following some of the tips we list here:

Apply an ice pack where your child has got the injection. It will help numb the pain and prevent any swelling that could cause further pain. Make sure you apply the ice pack gently and do not apply any pressure, as it could cause a negative reaction. Take an ice cube and rub it on your palms first. Once your palms have become all cold and wet, rub them gently over the injection spot, almost in a patting down motion. Do not apply the ice cube directly on the injection spot, as it can increase the pain and discomfort that your child is feeling. Once your child starts feeling a little comfortable with the cool sensation, you can place the ice cube in a clean cloth and gently pat it over the spot where the injection was given.

It is normal for most babies and children to develop a little bit of fever after vaccination. Speak to your pediatrician and ask what medicine should you give your child or baby in case of a fever. In most cases, the pediatrician will recommend giving a dose of Paracetamol. Also, it is not compulsory for your baby to develop a fever for the vaccination to be effective. Even if there is no fever, the vaccination will still do its job.

Make sure you give your child more attention after the vaccination, as your child may feel cranky and irritable, especially if there is a fever. Your baby may not understand why the spot of the injection hurts and may feel scared about the same. Make sure to give your baby all the time and attention, with lots of cuddles and lap-nap time.

Your child’s vaccination is extremely important to prevent any health conditions, so make sure you adhere to the age criteria and speak to the doctor about the same.

Safe And Natural Ways On How To Boost Kids Immune System:

While you try to increase your child’s immunity, it is important to go for natural ways that will strengthen the immunity and not cause any side effects. Here are some simple tips and tricks to ensure your child has better immunity and can ward off those growing up diseases and infections better:

1. Breastfeeding Is Important:

One of the first paths to making sure that your child’s immune system is strong and on track is by ensuring you follow the basic breastfeeding guidelines.

  • Breastfeed your baby for the first six months after birth, don’t resort to formula. It will help your baby get the required nutrients that will help boost his immune system and make him healthy and strong.
  • The antibodies and white blood cells found in breast milk act as one of the natural immune boosters for kids in the initial months. One of the highest sources of antibodies that are super rich in their disease-fighting properties is colostrum. It is the first milk that flows from your nipples. Colostrum is yellowish in color and may be a little thinner than the breastmilk that will flow later.
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatricians, you should breastfeed your baby for at least a year, and two years if possible.

2. Include Fresh Fruits And Vegetables In Daily Diet:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables contain various phytonutrients like carotenoids and vitamin C that will help strengthen your child’s immunity.
  • Fruits and vegetables like carrots, beets, strawberries, green beans and oranges will help increase white blood cells. They all help prevent infection.
  • Eating such foods will also help increase the production of an antibody interferon. It helps coat the surfaces of cells and keep viruses at bay. Interferon will protect your child from various serious health risks like heart diseases and cancer in later years.
  • Let your child eat four to five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.

[ Read: Healthy Fruit Snacks For Kids ]

3. A Good Night Of Sleep:

Not getting enough sleep can make your child susceptible to various infections and diseases.

  • When your child does not get enough sleep, the various immune-boosting cells of the body aren’t able to function properly. It means that the cells cannot kill those microbes and cancer cells that cause infection and diseases.
  • Your child should have at least ten hours of uninterrupted sleep a day.
  • Make sure your child’s room is comfortable enough to encourage good sleeping habits. Keep the bed clutter free and the linens clean and fresh. Remove anything from your child’s room that can be distracting, like television, computer, music and such.

[ Read: Common Sleeping Problems In Children ]

4. Introduce Hygiene At An Early Age:

To keep your child healthy and his immunity strong, it is important to encourage good hygiene habits from an early age.

  • While it will not boost your child’s immunity, it will surely prevent the germs and further infection from spreading.
  • Teach your child to wash his hands whenever he comes home from the outdoors. He should also wash his hands before and after every meal. Some more instances when your child should wash his hands are when he handles a pet; he’s been in the garden, has a cold or meets someone who has a cold.
  • Make sure to carry a handkerchief or child-friendly wipes that will help your child to sneeze in or clean his hands, as a means to avoid further spread of infection.
  • Change your child’s toothbrush, especially in case of infections of the throat. The virus and germs can spread from toothbrush to a toothbrush, so it is a good idea to change the toothbrush of the affected person.

[ Read: Personal Hygiene For Kids ]

5. Get Your Child Out In Fresh Air:

Try and get your child out in the open air as much as possible.

  • Once outdoors, encourage your child to participate in different physical activities as well as exercises. You can also take part in family exercises, where all family members can together perform certain exercises.
  • Regular exercise will increase the cells in your child’s body that handle germ-fighting and prevent the onset of infection.
  • Be your child’s role model and take part in running, jogging, and swimming, cycling, and hiking. Once your child sees your dedication towards your exercise, he will be interested to try the same with you.

[ Read: Common Childhood Diseases ]

6. Keep Your Home Healthy:

It is important for you first to create a healthy environment at home.

  • Eliminate the risk of second-hand smoke and its effects on your child. If you or your partner or any other family member is a smoker, make sure you do it outside the house.
  • Cigarette smoke can kill various cells in the body that are important for immunity boosting and preventing various infections and diseases.

7. Avoid Medicines And Antibiotics:

As a parent, you may want to rush your child to the doctor the moment there is a slight case of coughing or the first hint of a fever.

  • While it is natural to worry, exposing your child to antibiotics and medicines at the slightest instance can kill the body’s natural ability to fight back against germs.
  • Too much antibiotics will actually harm your child’s immune system and make it resistant to medication.
  • Make sure you check with your child’s doctor and get the medicines or antibiotics only when necessary.
  • It is important to ensure your child’s immunity is healthy and strong, and a few lifestyle changes can achieve just that. Follow the tips shared above and see the difference.

How do you console your baby during and after an injection? Do share your tips here to help other moms. We would love to hear from you about vaccination schedule for children. Leave a comment in the section below.

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