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For children between 2 to 3 years old, the recommended vaccine is the annual influenza vaccine. Between ages 4 to 6, children are encouraged to get another DTaP, IPV, MMR, and varicella (chickenpox) vaccination as well as to continue getting the annual flu shot. These recommendations are promoted for all children.
If a child has a high risk of hepatitis A, a HepA vaccination might be recommended after age 2. Children with certain medical conditions may also need the meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) and pneumococcal vaccine (PPSV).
The CDC recommends that children receive five doses of this vaccine, administered at specific ages, beginning at 2 months old. The second dose should follow at 4 months; the third dose at 6 months; the fourth dose between ages 15 to 18 months; and the fifth and final dose between 4 to 6 years old. DTaP is not licensed for older children, adolescents, or adults. Some children should not get the DTaP vaccine or are advised to wait. This includes any child who has a more moderate or severe cold; one who has experienced an allergic reaction to past dosages of DTaP; or a child who suffered brain or nervous system disease following a DTaP dose.
Again, it’s important to remember that you will not have to remember this schedule and the extra guidelines all on your own. While it’s important to educate yourself on the numerous vaccines recommended for your child, you pediatrician will make sure you stay on schedule for all the necessary vaccinations.
Written by: Amy Boulanger
Medically reviewed : Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH
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