Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule

2003 Immunization Schedule - English

This schedule indicates the recommended ages for routine administration of currently licensed childhood vaccines, as of December 1, 2002, for children through age 18 years.  Any dose not given at the recommended age should be given at any subsequent visit when indicated and feasible.  Indicates age groups that warrant special effort to administer those vaccines not previously given.  Additional vaccines may be licensed and recommended during the year.  Licensed combination vaccines may be used whenever any components of the combination are indicated and the vaccine's other components are not contraindicated.  Providers should consult the manufacturers' package inserts for detailed recommendations.


1. Hepatitis B vaccine (Hep B).  All infants should receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine soon after birth and before hospital discharge; the first dose may also be given by age 2 months if the infant's mother is HBsAg-negative.  Only monovalent hepatitis B vaccine can be used for the birth dose.
Monovalent or combination vaccine containing Hep B may be used to complete the series.  Four doses of vaccine may be administered when a birth dose is given.  The second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose, except for combination vaccines which cannot be administered before age 6 weeks.  The third dose should be given at least 16 weeks after the first dose and at least 8 weeks after the second dose.  The last dose in the vaccination series (third or fourth dose) should not be administered before age 6 months.
      Infants born to HbsAG-positive mothers should receive HepB and 0.5 mL Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth at separate sites.  The second dose is recommended at age 1-2 months.  The last dose in the vaccination series should not be administered before age 6 months.  These infants  should be tested for HBsAg and anti-HBs at 9 - 15 months of age.
      Infants born to mothers whose HBsAg status is unknown should receive the first dose of the HepB series within 12 hours of birth.  Maternal blood should be drawn as soon as possible to determine the mothers HBsAg status; if the HBsAg test is positive, the infant should receive HBIG as soon as possible (no later than age 1 week).  the second dose is recommended at age 1-2 months.  The last dose in the vaccination series should not be administered before age 6 months.

2. Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP).  The fourth dose of DTAP may be administered as early as age 12 months, provided 6 months have elapsed since the third dose and the child is unlikely to return at age 15-18 months. Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td) is recommended at age 11-12 years if at least 5 years have elapsed since the last dose of tetanus and diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine.  Subsequent routine Td boosters are recommended every 10 years.

3. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine.  Three Hib conjugate vaccines are licensed for infant use.  If PRP-OMP (PedvaxHIB® or ComVax® [Merck]) is administered at ages 2 and 4 months, a dose at age 6 months is not required.  DTaP/Hib combination products should not be used for primary immunization in infants at ages 2, 4 or 6 months, but can be used as boosters following any Hib vaccine.

4.  Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR).  The second dose of MMR is recommended routinely at age 4-6  years but may be administered during any visit, provided at least 4 weeks have elapsed since the first dose and that both doses are administered beginning at or after age 12 months.  Those who have not previously received the second dose should complete the schedule by the 11 -12 year old visit.

5. Varicella vaccine.  Varicella vaccine is recommended at any visit at or after age 12 months for susceptible children, i.e. those who lack a reliable history of chickenpox.  Susceptible persons aged greater/equal 13 years should receive two doses, given at least 4 weeks apart.

6. Pneumococcal vaccine.  The heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is recommended for all children age 2-23 months.  It is also recommended for certain children age 24-59 months.  Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is recommended in addition to PCV for certain high-risk groups.  See MMWR 2000;49(RR-9);1-38.

7. Hepatitis A vaccine.  Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for children and adolescents in selected states and regions, and for certain high-risk groups; consult your local public health authority.  Children and adolescents in these states, regions, and high risk groups who have not been immunized against hepatitis A can begin the hepatitis A vaccination series during any visit.  The two doses in the series should be administered at least 6 months apart.  See MMWR 1999;48(RR-12);1-37.

8. Influenza vaccine.  Influenza vaccine is recommended annually for children age ≥6 months with certain risk factors (including but not limited to asthma, cardiac disease, sickle cell disease, HIV, diabetes, and household members of persons in groups at high risk; see MMWR 2002;51(RR-3);l -31), and can be administered to all others wishing to obtain immunity.  In addition, healthy children age 6 - 23 months are encouraged to receive influenza vaccine if feasible because children in this age group are at substantially increased risk for influenza-related hospitalizations.  Children aged ≤12 years should receive vaccine in a dosage appropriate for their age (0.25 mL if age 6-35 months or 0.5 mL if aged ≥3 years).  Children aged 8 years who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time should receive two doses separated by at least 4 weeks.

For additional information about vaccines, including precautions and contraindications for immunization and vaccine shortages, please visit the National Immunization Program Website at or call the National Immunization Hotline at 800-232-2522 (English) or 800-232-0233 (Spanish).

Approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (, the American Academy of Pediatrics (, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (