Understanding Your Child's Immunization Schedule

Has your child received all of the immunizations recommended for his or her age? Child immunizations offered by the pediatricians at The Kidz Docs in Alexandria, VA, help protect your son or daughter from diseases that could make your child very sick or cause permanent disabilities or even death.

How is the immunization schedule determined?

Doctors, scientists, and vaccine experts on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices develop recommendations and schedules for immunizations. They consider vaccine effectiveness at various ages, dosage, timing, and the number of doses that will provide the greatest protection. They also take into account your child's developing immune system, as some vaccines will work better at specific times.

Following this schedule provides the maximum protection for infants and children, although modifications to the schedule can be made in some cases. If you have any questions or concerns about immunizing your son or daughter, your child's pediatrician will be happy to discuss the schedule with you during your visit to the Alexandria pediatrics office.

When are immunizations recommended?

Immunizations start at birth with the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine protects your child from developing hepatitis B, a disease that can cause severe liver disease or liver cancer. A second dose is recommended one to two months after the first dose, and a third dose is given when your child is 6 - 18 months.

Other immunizations are recommended at these times:

  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis: Your child will receive doses at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 - 18 months, and 4 - 6 years. A single dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine is given at 11 - 12 years.
  • Rotavirus: Rotavirus immunizations are recommended at 2 and 4 months.
  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B: Children receive Hib immunizations at 2 and 4 months and between 12 - 15 months.
  • Polio: Polio vaccines are given at 2, 4, 6 - 18 months, and 4 - 6 years.
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella: Given at 12 - 15 months and 4 - 6 years.
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate: Immunizations are recommended at 2, 4, and 6 months. The final dose is given between 12 - 15 months.
  • Varicella: Children receive the first dose at 12 -15 months and the second dose at 4 - 6 years.
  • Hepatitis A: The first immunization is recommended between 12 - 23 months. The second dose is given six months after the first.
  • Meningococcal Conjugate: Children receive the first dose at 11 - 12 years, and the second at 16 years.
  • Meningococcal B: Teens receive a single dose at 16 to 18 years.
  • Human Papilloma Virus: Doses are recommended at 11 - 12 years and six to 12 months after the first dose.
  • Influenza: Children 6 months to 18 years should receive a flu shot every year.

Do you need to schedule child immunizations for your son or daughter? Call the Alexandria, VA, office of The Kidz Docs at (703) 765-6093 to schedule your child's appointment.