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Child and Adolescent Schedules (Birth - 18 years old)


What about parent friendly resources?

For a more parent friendly webpage, feel free to share the CDC Vaccines by Age webpage.152

Things to know specially about the webpage152:

  • This webpage breaks down the vaccines by age group.
  • Once the age group of interest is clicked on, it lists the vaccines expected at that age.
  • It is also a clickable list, so the parent is able to learn more about the vaccine in question
  • It highlights what number of doses the vaccine expected falls within.

For example- If a parent clicks on “Vaccines at 6 Months” and then toggles over “Pneumococcal disease” the webpage will explain the disease the pneumococcal vaccine prevents against, as well what number dose in the series that vaccine would complete (3rd dose of 4). It also links the parent to more information regarding specifics around the vaccine in question.

To review the most up-to-date complete recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents, please access the CDC webpage.148

When reviewing the chart, it is important to148:

  • Determine what vaccines are needed based on age (Table 1)
  • Determine the appropriate intervals for catch-up, if needed (Table 2)
  • Assess for medical conditions and other indications (Table 3)
  • Review special situations (Vaccination Notes)
  • Review contraindications and precautions (Appendix)

The immunization schedule table is also broken down by certain categories, based on need. See the links below:


Printable Schedules

To download and print the CDC recommended vaccine schedule for children and adolescent, see the links below:

What about alternative schedules to the recommended CDC version?

As a reminder, the Home Visitor should not be recommending alternative vaccine schedules! The information, provided below, serves as educational platform for the families which includes all the risks they are taking by choosing an alternative schedule as well as tips on how the Home Visitor can navigate those conversations. Home Visitors should always refer families to the CDC recommended vaccine schedule when addressing vaccine schedule concerns!

An alternative vaccine schedule refers to giving children vaccinations at a different time or pace than the CDC recommends. According to a recent study conducted in 2020, more than one-third of children in the United States are on delayed vaccination schedule.156

Families consider diverging from the CDC’s recommended schedule for a variety of reasons. Below are a few different variations to the recommended schedule parents might suggest as well as tips for navigating that type of schedule conversation:

  • past the recommended timeline.
    • If a family choses to delay certain vaccines, it is important to continue to use the CDC guidance for timing the "catch up" vaccines.157
  • into separate doctor visits rather than receiving several shots at once.
    • Ensure the family understands the risk that they are taking by choosing some vaccinations over others.
    • Remind them that every vaccine is important, and one is not greater than the other.
  • If the family chooses not to vaccine against certain preventable diseases, try reverting to your motivational interviewing techniques and address the real concern at hand.

    • Refer to Overcoming Barriers to Vaccinations webpage within this toolkit.
Regardless of the alternative schedule the family chooses, it is important to ensure the family is aware of the following 
  • According to the CDC there are no known benefits from delaying or skipping vaccines.
  • The child may get sick or seriously ill from a vaccine preventable disease.
  • The parent may have to keep the child home from school if there is an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease, like measles or chickenpox, in their school.
  • Some countries require children entering the country to have specific vaccinations, which may hinder travel plans.

It is also important to remind the parent the main reasons for following the CDC’s recommended Immunization Schedule:159

  • The timing is based on how the child’s immune system responds to vaccines at various ages, and how likely the child will be exposed to a particular disease. The immunization schedule is carefully designed to provide protection at just the right time159

  • Baby’s immune systems are immature a birth, meaning they do not have the necessary defense mechanisms to protect against vaccine preventable diseases. Delaying vaccinations could leave the baby vulnerable to diseases when they are most likely to have the greatest risk of complications.159

  • Waiting until the child might be exposed to the disease, like childcare or school, may not be enough time for the vaccine to work. It can take weeks for a vaccine to help the baby’s immune response make protective disease-fighting antibodies, and some vaccinations require multiple doses to provide the best protection.159

  • Each vaccine is carefully developed to protect against a specific illness. Some require more than one dose to build strong enough immunity, or to boost immunity that decreases over time. Others need additional doses to ensure the baby is protected in case the first dose didn’t produce enough antibodies. Every recommended dose of each vaccine on the schedule is important and serves a purpose.159

  • Vaccines help protect the child when the pregnant person’s antibodies wear off.159

  • Children who are not vaccinated on schedule are not only at risk of getting sick themselves, they can also spread illness to others who aren’t protected, like newborns who are too young for vaccines and people with weakened immune systems.159