The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended vaccine schedule has been in use for 50 years. A child vaccinated by the CDC’s tried, tested and true vaccine schedule will have immunity to over 14 diseases by the age of two.
Each year, the vaccine schedule is determined by an expert panel of top disease experts and doctors based on the most recent scientific data and is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. These experts determine each vaccine’s dose timing using two factors. First, it is scheduled for the age when the body’s immune system will respond best. Second, it is balanced with the need to provide protection to infants and children at the earliest possible age.
You may have heard about vaccine schedules created by individual doctors that delay or spread out vaccines. There is no scientific reason to believe that spreading out or delaying your child’s vaccines is safer than following the CDC-recommended schedule, and there is no science behind alternative schedules. However, not vaccinating on time leaves your child vulnerable to disease. It is important to vaccinate babies as soon as it’s safe, because infants are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases. Not vaccinating according to the recommended schedule also allows for the spread of disease to others in your community, some of whom cannot be vaccinated -- such as infants and people with certain illnesses -- and are at increased risk for vaccine-preventable diseases.
Below are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s age-appropriate recommended vaccine schedules.
- Recommended Immunization Schedule for Persons Age 0 Through 18 Years
- Catch-up Immunization Schedule - For persons age 4 months through 18 years who start late or who are more than 1 month behind
You can also use our handy Good to Go vaccine scheduler (0-6 years) to make sure your child is immunized on time. Simply enter your child’s birth date for a complete list of recommended immunizations. You can also sign up to receive personalized e-mail reminders for your upcoming vaccine recommendations, view your child's protection progress, and print a list of your child's current and recommended vaccines.
Your child’s health and safety are very important to your child’s doctor. Doctors and healthcare providers consider the recommended schedule ideal for healthy children but there may be exceptions. If you have any questions about the recommended vaccine schedule, talk to your health care provider.