The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in cooperation with the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics, releases immunization schedules each year. The schedules include recommendations for routine vaccinations for children from birth through 6 years old, children from 7 to 18 years old, and adults, which includes a schedule for adults with medical and other indications (like pregnancy or chronic illness). For people traveling outside of the United States, additional vaccinations may be recommended by the CDC for diseases like yellow fever and typhoid. All data below come from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Feb. 6, 2018 resource, "Immunization Schedules," available at www.cdc.gov. For a brief description of the vaccines, please see the "Immunizations: More Information" section below.
DTaP: Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Diphtheria is a bacterial disease that impacts the respiratory system and is spread via direct contact with fluid from coughs or sneezes. Tetanus, or lockjaw, is caused by bacteria found in soil. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is spread via direct contact with fluid from coughs or sneezes.
HepA: Protects against Hepatitis A, an infection of the liver, which is spread via oral contact with fecal matter. The CDC recommends, "Two doses of HepA vaccine are needed for lasting protection. The first dose of HepA vaccine should be given between 12 months and 23 months of age. The second dose should be given 6 to 18 months later. HepA vaccination may be given to any child 12 months and older to protect against HepA. Children and adolescents who did not receive the HepA vaccine and are at high risk, should be vaccinated against HepA."
Hep B: Protects against Hepatitis B, an infection of the liver, which is spread via contact with blood or bodily fluids.
Hib: Protects against Haemophilus influenza type b, which is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under 5 years old.
HPV: Protects against human papillomavirus, a major cause of cervical cancer in women and anal cancer and genital warts in women and men. The CDC recommends, "[a]ll 11 or 12 year olds - both girls and boys - should receive 3 doses of HPV vaccine to protect against HPV-related disease." For adults, the CDC states, "There are two different kinds of HPV vaccine but only one HPV vaccine (Gardasil) can be given to men. Gay men or men who have sex with men who are 22 through 26 years old should get HPV vaccine if they haven't already completed the series."
Influenza: Protects against influenza, a viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. The CDC states, "[t]wo doses given at least four weeks apart are recommended for children aged 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting a flu vaccine for the first time." Additionally, the CDC states, " Everyone 6 months of age and older--including preteens and teens--should get a flu vaccine every year. Children under the age of 9 years may require more than one dose."
IPV: Protects against polio, a virus that lives in the throat and intestines, which is spread via contact with fecal matter and droplets from sneezing and coughing.
MCV4: Protects against meningococcal disease, a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children, which is spread via droplets from the nose and throat though actions like coughing or kissing. The CDC states, MCV "is recommended at age 11 or 12. A booster shot is recommended at age 16. Teens who received MCV for the first time at age 13 through 15 years will need a one-time booster dose between the ages of 16 and 18 years. If your teenager missed getting the vaccine altogether, ask their health care provider about getting it now, especially if your teenager is about to move into a college dorm or military barracks."
MMR: Protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. Measles is one of the most contagious viral diseases; a person can contract the disease after only being the same room as an infected person. All three are also spread via coughing and sneezing. The CDC states, if "you were born in 1957 or after, you should have already gotten MMR vaccine."
PCV: Protects against pneumococcal disease, or pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, which is spread via coughing and sneezing. The CDC states, a "single dose of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13) is recommended for children who are 6 - 18 years old with certain medical conditions that place them at high risk." PPSV23 is a variation to vaccinate adults who are 65 years old and older, and younger adults with chronic diseases.
RV: Protects against rotavirus, a virus that causes gastroenteritis (an inflammation of the stomach and intestines).
Tdap/Td: Protects against tetanus, or lockjaw, which is caused by bacteria found in soil. The CDC recommends, "If your child has not received any or all of the DtaP vaccine series, or if you don't know if your child has received these shots, your child needs a single dose of Tdap when they are 7-10 years old."
Varicella: Protects against the varicella zoster virus, or chickenpox, which is spread by coughing, sneezing, or direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
Zoster: Protects against the varicella zoster virus in its dormant state in adults, which can lead to shingles.