Pediatric Immunization Schedule

By Prev Info - February 22, 2022

Immunizations protect children from infectious diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that all children receive immunizations, or vaccines, to protect them from serious and sometimes fatal diseases. Without proper immunizations, children may contract seemingly rare diseases, such as measles or polio. Such diseases still thrive in the environment and can infect non-vaccinated individuals, especially with the frequency of international travel. Without immunizations, deadly epidemics may occur.

Pediatric Immunization Schedule

Time Frame

Physicians generally give infants their first vaccination before leaving the hospital. The initial vaccination protects infants from hepatitis B. At the two-month, four-month and six-month checkups, pediatricians will typically give the following vaccinations: rotavirus, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hamophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcal and poliovirus. All of these vaccinations require more than one dose. At the 12-month checkup, pediatricians will give vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and hepatitis A. At the age of four, booster shots of the following vaccinations are given: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, inactivated poliovirus, measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.

Alternate Schedules

Some parents may elect to change the typical immunization schedule due to concerns with the side effects from vaccinations. These parents should seek out a pediatrician who is willing to work out an alternate schedule. Typically, alternate schedules delay the first dose of the hepatitis B shot for two months, reduce the number of shots given at each doctor's visit and break up combination shots into more than one shot. Also, parents using an alternate schedule may want to use blood tests to determine if their child really needs additional booster shots.


The rotavirus vaccination comes in a liquid form that is given orally. All other vaccinations require shots. Some vaccinations are combined in one syringe which reduces the number of shots given. In some cases, infants may experience side effects, such as fever or irritability following an immunization.


All states in the U.S. require that children receive all immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control before entering public school. Some states allow parents to refuse immunizations for religious, medical or philosophical reasons. Parents who want to forgo immunizations altogether should contact their state department of health for information regarding exemptions.

Personalized Schedule

The Centers for Disease Control offers a personalized immunization schedule on its website. You can input the child's birthday to generate a personalized immunization schedule. This schedule can then be used to track immunizations as they are given to the child.