Vaccines (shots) help protect children from illnesses and potentially serious diseases.
Benefits of an annual flu (influenza) shot.
A yearly flu shot is the best way to protect against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone get a flu shot every year in the fall, starting at 6 months old. Some children 6 months through 8 years of age may need two doses for best protection. Your child’s pediatrician, primary care provider (PCP) or the health district can administer their shot.
Even newborn babies are at risk. When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or speaks, the virus moves through the air. Your baby may be infected if they breathe it in and they may not be strong enough to fight it off. The flu can be very serious in babies and toddlers and can lead to complications like pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, and even death.
The flu can be a very serious illness. People with the flu may be able to infect others from one day before they get sick and up to five to seven days after. Learn more about risk factors and complications of the flu at FamiliesFightingFlu.org, ImmunizeNevada.org or CDC.gov.
Other vaccine recommendations from birth through teen years.
When your child enrolls in school, they’ll need their shot records. You can keep your child up-to-date on their shots at well-child doctor visits.
The CDC recommends vaccines throughout your child’s life. Find out which vaccines your child needs from birth through their teen years for the best protection against serious diseases.
- Hep B Vaccine
Three doses of the Hep B shot are recommended for children as the best way to protect them against hepatitis B, a potentially serious disease. It also helps prevent them from developing liver disease and cancer from hepatitis B.
- VZV Vaccine (Chickenpox)
Two doses of the VZV shot are recommended for children to help protect them against chickenpox (varicella). Chickenpox is a contagious viral infection causing an itchy, blister-like rash.
- DTaP and Tdap Vaccines
Five doses of the DTaP shot and a Tdap booster shot are recommended for children and preteens to protect them against diphtheria, which can be very serious. Both vaccines also help protect against uncontrollable, violent coughing (whooping cough) and painful muscle stiffness (tetanus). Booster shots are needed throughout life.
- Hep A Vaccine
Two doses of the hep A vaccine are recommended for children as the best way to protect them against hepatitis A, a contagious liver infection spread by ingestion.
- Hib Vaccine
Three doses or four doses of the Hib vaccine are recommended for children to protect them against Hib disease. Hib bacteria can cause many illnesses including ear infections and bronchitis or in more severe cases, infections of the blood.
- MMR Vaccine
Two doses of the MMR vaccine are recommended for children to protect them against measles, mumps, and rubella. Measles, mumps, and rubella are viral infections resulting in a body rash, swollen salivary glands or lymph nodes.
- Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
Four doses of the pneumococcal shot are recommended for children as the best way to protect against ear infections and pneumonia (lung infection). It also protects them from infections caused by pneumococcal disease, like pneumococcal meningitis, an infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord.
- IPV Vaccine
Four does of the IPV shot are recommended for children to protect them against polio, which affects the brain and spinal cord.
- Rotavirus Vaccine
Two or more doses of a rotavirus vaccine are recommended for children as the best way to protect them against a virus that is easily spread among children causing dehydration and may lead to hospitalization.
- MenACWY Vaccine
Two doses of the MenACWY are recommended for preteens and teens to best protect them against the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease. This shot also protects your child from infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord and long-term disabilities that often come with surviving meningococcal disease.
- HPV Vaccine
Two to three doses of the HPV shot are needed to protect your teen against cancers caused by HPV infection.
- COVID-19 Vaccine
COVID-19 viruses can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. Everyone age 6 months and older needs two doses to complete this vaccine series. Booster shots are also available to everyone 12 and older.
Vaccine recommendations by age.
All children should receive the following vaccines by age 6. For a complete list of vaccines by age, view the CDC’s vaccine schedule.
If you have any questions about your health benefits, please call Member Services toll-free at 1-800-888-2264, TTY 711, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.