Recommended Vaccines

Information for Families

Doctors strongly recommend that children receive all vaccines according to the recommended childhood vaccine schedule. This schedule, which is created by the CDC’s advisory group of experts (ACIP), is made to protect your child when they are most at risk for serious illness from specific vaccine-preventable diseases.

While most parents choose to vaccinate their children according to the recommended schedule, it is normal to have questions about the vaccines recommended for your child. To make the best health decisions for your family, it is important that you get the facts.

The Facts
  • Vaccines are safe. The U.S. has a vaccine safety system to help make sure that vaccines are as safe as possible. As new information and science become available, vaccine recommendations are reviewed and updated as needed.
  • The benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children. 
    • Vaccines, like any medication, may cause some side effects. Most of these side effects are very minor, like soreness where the shot was given, fussiness, or a low-grade fever.
  • The recommended schedule protects infants and children by providing protection early in life, before they come into contact with life-threatening diseases. Children receive vaccinations early because they are susceptible to diseases at a young age.
  • The CDC’s recommended vaccine schedules are the only schedules carefully tested for safety and effectiveness. Delaying vaccines could leave your child vulnerable to disease when she’s most likely to have serious complications.
  • Children who are not vaccinated on schedule are not only at risk of getting sick themselves, but they can also spread illness to others who aren’t protected, like newborns who are too young for vaccines and people with weakened immune systems like those going through cancer treatments. By getting your child’s vaccines on time you’re not only protecting your baby — you’re helping to protect your friends, family, and community, too.
  • See the Journey of Your Child’s Vaccine

Infants and Children

CDC, American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended vaccine schedule. Your child can be protected against 15 diseases, including:

  • Hepatitis B (HepB)
  • Diphtheriatetanus, and whooping cough (DTaP vaccine)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b disease (Hib vaccine)
  • Polio  (IPV vaccine)
  • Pneumococcal disease (PCV13 vaccine)
  • Rotavirus (RV vaccine)
  • Flu (Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year) – Young children who need two doses of flu vaccine should get the first one as soon as possible. Otherwise, it is good to get your children their flu vaccine in September or October.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Chickenpox (Varicella vaccine)
  • COVID-19 (Everyone 6 months and older should get an updated COVID-19 vaccine)
  • RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) – RSV is a common illness that can be very serious for babies. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of hospitalization in children under 1 year old.
    • All babies younger than 8 months of age should get one dose of nirsevimab (Beyfortus) during or right before the RSV season. (In most parts of the U.S., RSV season starts during the fall and peaks in the winter.)
    • Some children, 8 to 19 months old, who are entering their second RSV season and are at higher risk of serious illness should get one dose of nirsevimab.
    • Nirsevimab is a monoclonal antibody product, NOT a vaccine. Monoclonal antibodies give young children an extra layer of defense to help them fight against RSV.
    • There are now two ways to protect your baby from getting very sick with RSV. One is an RSV immunization that provides antibodies to your baby after birth. The other is a newly recommended  RSV vaccine given during pregnancy. (See more about this vaccine under “Pregnant People”). If you receive RSV vaccine while pregnant, your baby will have protection and, in most cases, should not need an RSV immunization later.

View the easy-to-read recommended vaccine schedule for infants and children (birth through 6 years). For more information about vaccines for babies and infants, visit AAP’s Parenting Website. Click here to find ways to make shots less stressful for your child.

Read AAP’s COVID, Flu & RSV: How Are These Respiratory Illnesses Different?

Visit our Get School Kids Back on Track page to find out more about vaccinations your child needs for the 2023-24 school year.

Preteens and Teens

Experts recommend that preteens and teens get vaccinated according to the recommended schedule to extend protection from childhood diseases, as protection from childhood vaccines wears off and to protect against infections that can make them sick.

At 11-12 years old, your preteen should receive routinely recommended vaccines to protect them from the following diseases:

View the easy-to-read version of the recommended schedule for preteens and teens (7-18 years old).

Visit our Get School Kids Back on Track page to find out more about vaccinations your child needs for the 2023-24 school year.


As COVID reminded us, vaccines are not just for children. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives to protect against serious diseases. While you might have gotten vaccines when you were younger, protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time. In addition, you may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases due to your age, job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions.

All adults need vaccines to protect against the following diseases:

  • COVID-19 – Adults should get an updated  COVID-19 vaccine, regardless if they got any original COVID vaccines.
  • Flu – Adults should get a flu vaccine every year. (September and October are good times to get a flu vaccine.)
    • Flu can cause serious illness, hospitalization and even death, even in healthy people.
    • Some people are at higher risk of serious flu illness. That’s why flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant people, and older adults.
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (also known as pertussis)
    • Every adult should get a Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it when they were younger. This helps protect them –  and those around them –  from whooping cough.
    • Every adults should get a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) or Tdap booster every 10 years.
    • Whooping cough can cause serious illness in people of all ages, but it is most dangerous for babies. If you are planning to be around babies and young children, make sure to be up to date on your Tdap vaccination.
    • People need a Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably during the 3rd trimester.
  • RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)  – In most parts of the U.S., RSV season starts during the fall and peaks in the winter. RSV infections can be very dangerous for certain adults, including older people and people with certain chronic medical conditions.
    •  The CDC states that adults 60 and older may get a RSV vaccine. The decision to vaccinate should be based on a discussion between you and your doctor.

Other vaccines that adults may need include HPV vaccine, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, shingles vaccine, pneumonia vaccine, and mpox vaccine.

To find out which vaccines you need, you can view the recommended adult vaccine schedule. take the Adult Vaccine Quiz and/or talk to your doctor. If you are traveling out of the country, take a look at CDC’s Travelers’ Health website.

Find COVID-19 and Flu Vaccines Near You. 

Most adults living in the U.S. can get a COVID vaccine at no cost through their private health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid plans.  Adults without health insurance and  adults whose insurance does not cover all COVID-19 vaccine costs, can get free COVID vaccine through CDC’s Bridge Access Program.

Pregnant People

Pregnancy is such a special time for the entire expecting family. It is a time of planning and preparing for the birth of a child. It is also important to begin considering the steps you can take to help keep yourself and your baby protected from vaccine-preventable diseases both now and throughout your child’s life.

By getting certain vaccines during pregnancy, you can help pass protection (antibodies) to your baby before they are born to help them stay healthy during their first months of life.

Experts recommended that pregnant people get the following vaccines during pregnancy:

  • Tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccine (1 dose of Tdap during your 3rd trimester).
    • Tdap vaccines are safe for mom and baby. Getting a Tdap vaccine during pregnancy helps protect the baby until they are old enough to start get their own whooping cough vaccines (DTaP).
  • Flu vaccine ( 1 flu shot during any trimester. September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated each year, but vaccination during July and August can be considered if you will be in your 3rd trimester of pregnancy during those months.)
    • Flu vaccines are safe for mom and baby. Getting a flu vaccine is the first and most important action a person can take to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications.
    • Getting a flu shot during pregnancy helps protect both you and your baby. By getting vaccinated DURING pregnancy, you give anitbodies to your baby to help protect them from flu illness during their first few months of life.
  • COVID-19 vaccine/booster – Everyone 6 months and older should get 1 dose of updated Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
    • COVID vaccines are safe for mom and baby. Getting a COVID vaccine during pregnancy helps protect you and your developing baby from serious illness and pregnancy complications.
  • RSV vaccine – The two options to protect your baby from serious illness due to RSV.
    1. Getting an RSV vaccine if you are 32-36 weeks pregnant during RSV season. This vaccine is recommended during September through January for most of the United States because RSV is typically a fall and winter virus. The timing of RSV season may vary depending on where you live, and state, local, or territorial health departments may recommend different timing for administration for their area.
    2. Getting an RSV antibody immunization for your baby if they are younger than 8 months and born during, or entering, their first RSV season. In rare cases, a healthcare provider may determine an RSV immunization is needed for an infant even though the mother received an RSV vaccine.

Learn more about vaccines during pregnancy from CDC and the pregnancy experts at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Nurse Midwives.