Age Groups and Vaccines

Birth to 2 years

During the first two years of your baby's life, you will go to your baby’s healthcare provider several times for well visits. At many of these visits, you will have the opportunity to protect your child from a number of potentially severe childhood diseases.

4 to 6 years

Right around the time your child is starting school, there will be another opportunity to protect them from several diseases. Typically, children receive additional doses of DTaP, MMR, chickenpox and polio during this period. These additional doses "remind" your child's immune system that it has seen these viruses and bacteria before and the protective response becomes even stronger. These “reminders” are called booster doses.


Your adolescent might require more than just their sports physical when visiting the doctor. Check with their healthcare provider to see if they are up to date on all vaccines. The vaccines that are recommended include:


During the teenage years, the vaccines that may be required include a booster of tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap), human papillomavirus (HPV) and two meningococcus vaccines. Teens may get some of these vaccines as adolescents, but the meningococcal vaccines, in particular, are typically needed later in the teen years. Check with your teen’s healthcare provider to ensure they are protected.

Recent graduates may also want to make an appointment with their healthcare provider to make sure they are up to date on all of the recommended vaccines. Students will be introduced to many new people, places and experiences as they start their next phase of life. Further, they may be coming into contact with people from countries where vaccine-preventable diseases are more common, or they may travel to other parts of the world to learn or perform services. Documented outbreaks of infectious diseases on college campuses have occurred following international travel.


Vaccines aren’t only for children. Adults in your child's life should be encouraged to be up to date on their vaccines as well. This protects them, you and your children. It is also important to realize that some adults require several different vaccines because of underlying medical conditions.

Reviewed by Paul A. Offit, MD on June 01, 2023

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.