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 and receive each vaccination on time. After age 2, children are still recommended to receive a yearly flu vaccine. Children are also due for additional doses of some vaccines between 4 and 6 years of age (before starting kindergarten). Following the recommended immunization schedule 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.
Preteens and teens need four vaccines to protect against serious diseases:
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningitis.
- HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV.
- Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis).
- A yearly flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.
Teens and young adults may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (Men B). Parents can send their preteens and teens to middle school and high school – and also off to college – protected from vaccine-preventable diseases by following the recommended immunization schedule.