List of Shots That Babies Need

By Prev Info - February 22, 2022

Vaccinations protect babies against serious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.

Vaccines, the weakened or killed versions of the bacteria and viruses that cause various diseases, have significantly improved the health of children in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that many dangerous diseases -- such as diphtheria, which killed more than 10,000 people every year in the 1920s, and polio, which killed or paralyzed thousands of children during the 1940s and 1950s -- have been virtually eliminated from the United States thanks to vaccines. However, many diseases haven't completely disappeared and could recur without vaccinations. During their first year, babies should receive shots to immunize them against seven serious diseases.

Vaccinations protect babies against serious diseases

Hepatitis B

About 12.5 million Americans have been infected with the hepatitis B virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 1.25 million of those are lifelong carriers of the disease. Infants who acquire a hepatitis B infection are particularly susceptible to developing a chronic hepatitis B infection, which can ultimately result in liver disease, liver cancer and even death. To protect against this virus, babies should receive three Hepatitis B shots: at birth, between 1 and 2 months, and between 6 and 18 months.


The polio virus, which causes acute paralysis, can result in lifelong disability or even death if the disease paralyzes the breathing muscles. Before the advent of the polio vaccine, thousands of children ended up on crutches, in wheelchairs or with so-called iron lungs after they became infected with the virus. Now babies can be immunized against this crippling disease by receiving four shots: at 2 months, at 4 months, between 6 and 18 months, and between 4 and 6 years.

Pneumococcal Disease

Prior to the development of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, 63,000 people developed invasive pneumococcal disease and 6,100 died every year in the United States, according to the CDC. A variety of serious complications can develop from the disease, including meningitis, deafness, seizures and death. Four shots of the pneumococcal vaccine -- at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and between 12 and 15 months -- protect children against this disease.

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis

The DTaP vaccine protects babies against three severe diseases: diphtheria, which can lead to heart and nerve problems and has a fatality rate of up to 20 percent in very young children; tetanus, which causes a stiff jaw, muscle spasms, difficulties with eating and breathing, and death; and pertussis or whooping cough, which can result in severe coughing, vomiting, pneumonia, brain damage and death. Babies should receive five shots -- at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years -- to immunize them against these diseases.


Before the development of Hib vaccine, 20,000 invasive cases of haemophilus influenzae type b developed every year. About 1 in 200 children became infected with an invasive Hib disease, according to the CDC. Six hundred children died every year, and many more developed pneumonia, seizures, deafness and mental retardation. Babies need three to four doses of the Hib vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months (only necessary with some Hib vaccines) and 12 to 15 months to be immunized against this deadly bacteria.





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