I often get asked questions about immunizations, such as when they are supposed to be given and what they are for. Here is a list of the 2012 recommended immunizations, when they are supposed to be given and what they are for. At the end of the list, I will explain abbreviations stand for and a little about the diseases that they protect against.
Birth (child gets this before leaving the hospital): HepB
2 months: HepB, DTaP, PCV, Hib, Polio, RV
4 months: DTaP, PCV, Hib, Polio, RV
6 months: HepB, DTaP, PCV, Hib, Varicella, HepA, influenza (yearly)
12 months: MMR, PCV, Hib, Varicella, HepA
15 months: DtaP,
4 years: DTaP, IPV, MMR, Varicella, influenza (yearly)
7-10 years: Tdap, influenza (yearly)
11-12 years: MCV4, HPV – women (3 doses), influenza (yearly)
16 years: MCV4, influenza (yearly)
19-21 years: HPV vaccine, MMR, influenza (yearly)
22-65+: Tdap vaccine once, then a booster every 10 years, influenza (yearly)
27-59: Varicella(chicken pox) unless you’ve had the disease, influenza (yearly)
60-65+: Shingles vaccine, influenza (yearly)
65+: Pneumococcal vaccine, influenza (yearly)
HepB: Protects against hepatitis B (a virus that attacks the liver and can lead to cancer)
DTaP: a combined vaccine that protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). Diphtheria can cause swelling of the heart muscle, heart failure, coma, paralysis and death. Tetanus can cause difficulty swallowing, muscle spasms, difficulty breathing and death. Whooping cough can cause a severe pneumonia (lung infection) and death.
Hib: Protects against Haemophilus influenza type b. With this infection there may be no symptoms unless bacteria enter the blood. An infection with Haemophilus influenza type b can cause meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord), mental retardation, epiglottis (life threatening infection that can block the windpipe and lead to serious breathing problems) and pneumonia (infection in the lungs) and death.
PCV: Protects against pneumococcal disease which may cause pneumonia, as well as a serious blood infection and meningitis (infection of the covering around the brain and spinal cord) and death.
Polio (IPV): Protects against polio. Polio may cause no symptoms until a serious infection develops and then it cause paralysis and death.
RV: Protects against infections caused by rotavirus. Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever and may lead to dehydration. It has caused death from dehydration in young children.
Influenza: Protects against influenza (flu)
MMR: Protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). Measles can cause a rash, fever, encephalitis (brain swelling), pneumonia (infection in the lungs) and death. Mumps causes swollen salivary glands under the jaw, fever, headache and may lead to meningitis (infection in the covering of the brain and spinal cord), encephalitis (brain swelling), and inflammation of the testicles or ovaries and permanent deafness or death. Rubella can cause serious problems during pregnancy including miscarriages, stillbirths, premature deliveries or birth defects.
Varicella: Protects against varicella, also known as chickenpox. Chickenpox can cause infection of the blisters, bleeding problems, encephalitis (brain swelling), pneumonia (infection in the lungs) .
HepA: Protects against hepatitis A, a virus that attacks the liver. There may be no symptoms or a slight fever and yellowish color to the skin. It may also cause vomiting and stomach pain.
HPV: Human papillomavirus is a common virus in patients in their teenage years. It is the major cause of cervical cancer in women and genital warts in women and men.
MCV4: Meningococcal conjugate vaccine protects against an infection that can lead to meningitis (infection in the covering of the brain and spinal cord).
This document is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual patient. If you have questions please contact your medical provider.
I hope that you have found this information useful. Wishing you the best of health,
Scott Rennie, DO