Pediatric Vaccines: What Vaccines Do Children Get?

What Are Pediatric Vaccines?

Vaccines for children help boost their developing immune systems to build resistance against once common infectious diseases that are now rare because of continued vaccinations.
Vaccines for children help boost their developing immune systems to build resistance against once-common infectious diseases that are now rare because of continued immunization programs.

Vaccines (immunizations) contain small amounts of weakened or dead viruses, bacteria, or toxins that can cause diseases that are used to strengthen the immune system and prevent disease. The weakened or killed germs in vaccines do not make people sick, but rather, they stimulate the body’s immune system to produce antibodies just as it would if exposed to the illness. This enables the body to develop immunity to the disease so that if it is exposed in the future, the person won’t get sick. 

Vaccines are used in children to reduce their risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to develop immunity to disease.

List of Pediatric Vaccines Available in The U.S. And Globally

Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine 

  • Routine childhood immunization to prevent chronic HBV infection
  • Usually given as a 3-dose immunization series, although some are given in 2-dose or 4-dose series 
  • Also recommended for certain high-risk populations and for travel health
  • Hepatitis B vaccines available in the U.S.: Engerix-B and Recombivax HB
  • Hepatitis B vaccines available globally: Amvax B, Engerix-B, Fendrix, HB-Vax, H-B-Vax II, HBvaxPRO, Hepavax Gene, Recombivax HB, Shanvac-B, Temrevac-HB

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines (PCVs)

  • Available as 7-valent, 10-valent, and 13-valent vaccines
  • In the U.S., only the pneumococcal 13-valent vaccine is available
  • Both the 10-valent and 13-valent vaccines are available in Canada
  • Countries may follow a 3-dose primary series or a 2-dose primary series plus a booster
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines available in the U.S.: Prevnar-13 and Prevenar-13
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines available globally: Prevnar, Prevenar, Prevnar-13, Prevenar-13, Synflorix

Varicella Virus Vaccine (VAR)

  • A live attenuated vaccine that protects against varicella-zoster virus
  • Given as a 2-dose series in children
  • In the U.S., VAR is recommended in all children younger than 13 years who have not had varicella virus infection, and in adolescents and adults without evidence of immunity
  • Varicella virus vaccine available in the U.S.: Varivax
  • Varicella virus vaccines available globally: Okavax, Vaccin Varilrix, Varicela Biken, Varcelvax, Varilrix, Varipox, Varivax, Varivax III, V-Z Vax

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends use of a combination vaccine of measles, mumps, and rubella for childhood immunization programs
  • A 2-dose series is recommended, the first administered at age 15-18 months and the second given at age 4-6 years
  • If not administered according to the recommendation, a 2-dose catch-up regimen is essential
  • Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine available in the U.S.: M-M-R II
  • Measles, mumps, rubella vaccines available globally: MMR, M-M-R II, M-M-R Vax, M-M-R Vaxpro, Morupar, Mumeru Vax, Pluserix, Priorix, Prioryks, ROR Vax, Trimovax, Triviraten Berna

Haemophilus influenzae Type B (HIB) Vaccine

  • An important component of pneumonia prevention
  • The WHO recommends 3 different immunization schedules beginning at 6 weeks of age:
  • A 3-dose primary series with no booster
  • A 2-dose primary plus a booster
  • A 3-dose primary plus a booster
  • Children older than 1 year should receive a single dose, and it is not indicated in healthy children older than 5 years
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccines available in the U.S.: ActHIB, Hiberix, PedvaxHIB
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccines available globally: ActHIB, Hiberix, HIBest, HibTITER, PedvaxHIB

Polio Vaccines

  • Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), also called Salk vaccine, contains all three polio strains and is used in industrialized nations that have eradicated polio and have a low risk of polio
  • Polio vaccine available in the U.S.: IPOL
  • Polio vaccines available globally: IPOL, Imovax Polio, Opvero, Polio Salk (Sero)

Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTP) Vaccines

  • Three doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine are recommended for children within the first year of life
  • Two additional booster doses are recommended between ages 1 and 6 years, for a total of five DTaP doses during childhood
  • Tetanus toxin–containing boosters (Td) are recommended for adolescents and adults, and as boosters in children older than 7 years
  • In the U.S., only acellular pertussis-containing vaccines (DTaP) are available 
  • Diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTP) vaccines available in the U.S.: Daptacel and Infanrix
  • Diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTP) vaccines available globally: Infanrix, D.T. COQ, Dif per tet all, P.D.T. Vax Purified, Tripacel, Tripavac, Tripvac
  • Tetanus and reduced diphtheria toxoids/acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) available in the U.S. and globally: Adacel and Boostrix

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines

  • Two HPV vaccines are available; quadrivalent and nonavalent
  • The quadrivalent vaccine is active against HPV types 6 and 11, which cause genital warts, and types 16 and 18, which can cause precancerous lesions and cervical cancer
  • The nonavalent vaccine covers an additional five HPV types (i.e., 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58)
  • In most countries, adolescent girls are targeted as the primary group for immunization
  • Males are also at risk for anal cancer caused by HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 and genital warts caused by types 6 and 11
  • All adolescents aged 11-12 years should receive the vaccination series, although it may begin as early as age 9 years
  • Human papillomavirus vaccine available in the U.S.: Gardasil-9
  • Human papillomavirus vaccines available globally: Gardasil-9 and Gardasil

Rotavirus Vaccine

  • Protects against rotavirus gastroenteritis, the leading cause of gastroenteritis among children worldwide
  • Vaccination is recommended beginning at 6 months of age but is not recommended in children older than 24 months
  • Rotavirus vaccines available in the U.S.: Rotarix and RotaTeq
  • Rotavirus vaccines available globally: Rotarix, RotaTeq, RoatTeq and Luo Te Wei

Hepatitis A (HepA) Vaccine

  • Administered as a routine 2-dose series 6 to 18 months apart
  • The series may be initiated in children at their first birthday, but anyone who has not received hepatitis A vaccine should receive the series, including adults
  • Vaccination should occur before international travel
  • Hepatitis A vaccines available in the U.S.: Havrix and Vaqta
  • Hepatitis A vaccines available globally: Avaxim, Epaxal, HAVpur, Havrix 1440, Havrix Junior, Havrix Monodose, Havryks, Mevac-A, Vaqta

Meningococcal A vaccines

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine vaccination with meningococcal A vaccines in children at age 11-12 years, with a booster at age 16-18 years
  • Children who travel to or reside in countries in which meningococcal disease is hyperendemic or epidemic should receive a 2-dose series
  • Meningococcal A vaccines available in the U.S.: Menactra and Menveo
  • Meningococcal A vaccines available globally: Menactra, Menacttra, Menveo

Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccines

  • Routine vaccination with one of the meningococcal group B vaccines is recommended at age 10 in persons with certain genetic deficiencies
  • Older adolescents and young adults aged 16 through 23 years may be vaccinated to provide short-term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease in the event of an outbreak
  • Meningococcal B vaccines available in the U.S.: Bexsero and Trumenba
  • Meningococcal B vaccine available globally: Bexsero

Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Vaccine

  • The WHO recommends Japanese encephalitis vaccine be incorporated into routine childhood immunization schedules in areas where Japanese encephalitis is a public health priority
  • Japanese encephalitis vaccine available in the U.S.: Ixiaro
  • Japanese encephalitis vaccine available globally: CD Jevax, Ixiaro, Jencevac, Jespect, Jevax

Cholera Vaccine

  • Currently, 3 oral cholera vaccines are available
  • In countries where cholera is endemic, the current strategy is to administer vaccinations in high-risk areas and populations, including preschool-aged and school-aged children, pregnant women, and individuals with HIV
  • Cholera vaccine available in the U.S.: Vaxchora (adults only)
  • Cholera vaccines available globally: Dukoral, ShanChol, Euvichol

Typhoid Vaccines

  • Recommended in areas where typhoid poses a significant health problem for preschool-aged and school-aged children
  • Typhoid vaccines for intramuscular administration available in the U.S.: Typhim Vi
  • Typhoid vaccines for oral administration available in the U.S.: Vivotif or VIvotif Berna
  • Typhoid vaccines for intramuscular administration available globally: Typherix, Tifim Vi, Typbar, Typhim Vi, Typhovax Tyrix Vi
  • Typhoid vaccines for oral administration available globally: Typhoral, Typh-Vax, Vivotif or VIvotif Berna, Vivotif Oral, Vivotif Oralt Vaccin, Zerotyph

Yellow Fever (YF) Vaccine

  • The WHO recommends all endemic countries should introduce yellow fever vaccine into their routine immunization schedule for children
  • The WHO recommends a single yellow fever vaccine to confer sustained life-long immunity. The CDC recommends this, but also recommends a booster dose in certain individuals traveling to endemic areas.
  • Yellow fever vaccine available in the U.S.: YF-VAX
  • Yellow fever vaccines available globally: Arilvax, Stamaril, YF-VAX

Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) Vaccine

  • The WHO recommends immunization of all age groups, including children, in countries with an average incidence of clinical disease of more than 5 cases/100,000 population
  • Tick-borne encephalitis is endemic in certain areas of Europe and Asia, extending from eastern France to northern Japan and from northern Russia to Albania
  • No tick-borne encephalitis vaccines are licensed or available in the United States
  • Tick-borne encephalitis vaccines available globally: Encepur, EnceVir, FSME-Immun, Sen Tai Bao, TBE-Moscow, TicoVac

Rabies Vaccine

  • The WHO recommends immunization with rabies vaccine for anyone who will be at continual, frequent, or increased risk of exposure to the rabies virus as a result of residence or occupation
  • Rabies vaccine available in the U.S.: Imovax Rabies and RabAvert
  • Rabies vaccines available globally: Abhayrab, Berrab P, HDCV Rabivac, Imovax Rabbia, Imovax Ravia, Imovax Rabies, Lyssavac N Berna, Rabies MIRV, Rabies Imovax, Rabiesvax, Rabipur, RabAvert, Speeda, Verorab

Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) Vaccine

  • Not recommended for general use in the United States
  • Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccines available globally: BCG Vaccine, BCG-Medac, Immucyst, Oncotice

What Vaccines Are Recommended for Travelers?

The CDC categorizes vaccines as: (1) routine, (2) required, and (3) recommended.

  1. Routine vaccines are recommended for everyone in the U.S., such as childhood vaccines administered before starting school, yearly vaccines (such as the flu vaccine), or vaccines given every 10 years (such as the tetanus booster for adults).
  2. Required vaccines are vaccinations travelers must have in order to enter a country, based on that country’s government regulations. 
    • In most circumstances, yellow fever is the only vaccine required by certain countries. 
    • A vaccine requirement is a country’s attempt to keep travelers from bringing certain diseases into the country. 
    • Vaccine requirements can change at any time, because country governments control those decisions.
  3. Recommended vaccines are those the CDC recommends travelers get to protect their health, even if they aren't required for entry by the government of the country being visited. 
    • Recommended vaccines protect travelers from illnesses that are usually travel-related. 

Required and recommended vaccines for travelers depend on several things, including age, health, and itinerary. Check the CDC’s travel web site to see what vaccines may be needed based on your travel plans. 


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