Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many children fell behind on routine vaccinations due to delays in well-check visits and other pandemic-related barriers to care.

Child getting a vaccine from doctor While some vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, such as measles and polio, are rarely seen in the United States, they still circulate in other parts of the world.

If a group of people fall behind on their vaccines, these diseases may have an opportunity to reemerge, causing outbreaks – and potential deaths – in our communities once again.

It's critically important that your child receives their vaccines on schedule to protect them against serious diseases.

Why vaccinations are important for kids and the community

Vaccinations throughout childhood are essential to protect young lives. Vaccines help provide immunity to children before they are exposed to potentially harmful diseases like hepatitis B, measles, mumps, polio and more. All vaccines are extensively tested and approved for use by the CDC.

Researchers at CHOP and around the world have repeatedly proven that vaccines are safe and effective for children and the public. The more people that receive a specific vaccine, the greater likelihood of developing "herd immunity," which protects everyone in the community – even medically vulnerable people who cannot safely receive the vaccine.

What vaccines do kids need?

A typical vaccination schedule for children and teens will include these recommended vaccines for different age groups. Most schools, daycares and colleges require proof of immunizations to attend.

Birth to age 2

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Pneumococcal conjugate
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
  • Influenza
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis A
  • COVID-19

4-6 years old

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis
  • Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)
  • Influenza
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)


  • Tetanus, diphtheria & acellular pertussis (Tdap)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal

Missed a vaccine? Why you should catch up

If your child has missed any of their recommended vaccines – or if you are unsure – talk to your child's pediatrician or healthcare provider as soon as possible. Then, schedule an appointment for your child to receive any on-time or catch-up vaccines needed.

Although each vaccine has a recommended schedule for administration, in many cases, you can pick up where you left off or use a "catch-up" vaccination schedule to keep your child protected. Children in certain high-risk groups may require an adjusted vaccine schedule. Talk to your child's pediatrician about the best way to resume your child's vaccinations and how to help your family stay on-target in the future.

Resources for families

Next Steps
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