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Why You Should Stay Up to Date on Your Vaccinations


It's really important to stay up to date with your vaccinations as an adult. And if you're a parent, it is also really important to stay up to date with your child's vaccinations as well. Why? Because vaccinations prevent deaths and debilitation from diseases. Staying on a vaccination schedule throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide protection before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Vaccines are rigorously tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for kids (and adults) to receive at the recommended ages. Vaccinating children at the proper time will prevent outbreaks of diseases like measles, polio, hepatitis B, mumps, and more. In fact, the more people that receive a specific vaccine, the greater potential of developing "herd immunity" in that community, which protects everyone- even vulnerable people who cannot safely receive the vaccine like the highly immunocompromised, the very elderly, or infants not yet eligible for certain vaccines. Most people will have to be vaccinated to enter daycares, school systems, or colleges, as vaccines are a requirement for attendance. Below is a guide for the vaccines a person will need at each stage of life:

Birth- 2 years old

  • Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine at 12 through 15 months

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 15 through 18 months

  • Flu vaccine every year by the end of October, if possible, starting at 6 months

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine: At 2 months, 4 months, 6 months (if needed), and 12 through 15 months

  • Hepatitis A vaccine at 12 through 23 months and a second dose 6 months following the first dose

  • Hepatitis B vaccine shortly after birth, at 1 through 2 months, and at 6 through 18 months

  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 through 15 months; but if traveling abroad, infants 6 through 11 months old should have one dose of MMR vaccine

  • Pneumococcal (PCV13) vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12 through 15 months

  • Polio (IPV) vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 through 18 months

  • Rotavirus (RV) vaccine: At 2 months and 4 months (for Rotarix brand); or 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months (for RotaTeq brand)