Vaccinations for Kids and Teens

Learn about recommended vaccinations and when to get them

Doctor gives teen a vaccine shot

For a full list of vaccinations, go to vaccines.gov. Here are key vaccinations to know.

Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP and Tdap)
This is a combination vaccination that protects against three different diseases. Diphtheria causes breathing problems, and tetanus causes muscle stiffness. Pertussis, or whooping cough, leads to severe coughing.

When: Children need 5 doses of DTaP between 2 months and 6 years, and 1 dose of Tdap between 11 and 12 years.

Flu
This virus causes fever, cough, and aches. For children under 5 years, flu can lead to severe complications.

When: Children 6 months and older should get vaccinated once a year.

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
This is a combination vaccination. Measles is very contagious and can lead to ear infection, diarrhea, or brain swelling. Mumps causes swelling in the glands under the ears. Rubella causes fever and rash.

When: Children need a first dose between 12 and 15 months, and a second dose between 4 and 6 years.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)
This is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and it can cause cervical and other cancers.

When: Children need 3 doses between 11 and 12 years.

Meningitis
This is a serious infection of the fluid around the brain or in the spinal cord.

When: Children need a first dose between 11 and 12 years, and a booster at 16 years.