Vaccines Birth to Age 6
Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from serious diseases. Parents can provide the best protection by following the recommended immunization schedule – giving their child the vaccines they need, when they need them.
Babies receive vaccinations that help protect them from 14 diseases by age 2. It is very important that babies receive all doses of each vaccine, as well as receive each vaccination on time. After age 2, children are still recommended to receive a yearly flu vaccine and will be due for additional vaccine doses between 4 and 6 years of age. Getting all of the recommended vaccines is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health. If a child falls behind the recommended immunizations schedule, vaccines can still be given to “catch-up” the child before adolescence.
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions. Child care settings and schools are highly susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases because students can easily spread illnesses to one another as a result of poor hand washing, uncovered coughs and dense populations.