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Pediatric Immunization

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP) Vaccination

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis are three bacterial diseases that are highly contagious and trigger respiratory and other serious complications. DTaP vaccine is given to protect infants and young children against these fatal diseases. It is a 5-dose series, each administered through injection at ages:

  • 2 months (minimum age: 6 weeks)
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15–18 months
  • 4–6 years (for Kinrix or Quadracel vaccines)

Minimum interval to be maintained between each dose:

  • 4 weeks between doses 1 and 2 as well as doses 2 and 3
  • 6 weeks between doses 3 and 4 as well as doses 4 and 5

For adolescents and younger adults above 7 years of age, a catch-up vaccine of Tdap is recommended. Pregnant women should also get vaccinated in the second half of each pregnancy.

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HiB) Vaccination

HiB vaccine provides long-time prevention against HiB meningitis and pneumonia in children under 5 years. The doses are injected at ages:

  • 2 months (minimum age: 6 weeks)
  • 4 months
  • 6 months (recommended )
  • A booster dose at 12–15 months

The doses, as well as minimum interval between each dose, may vary depending on when the first dose is given. Also, if the first dose is administered at age 15 months or older, no further doses are required.

Hepatitis A Vaccination

Hepatitis A, a type of liver disease, is prevented by injecting the inactive (killed) virus. This helps develop immunity. A 2-dose routine has to be completed to ensure long-lasting protection. Children should be vaccinated with HepA’s first dose at 12-23 months, followed by a second dose at an interval of 6-18 months.

A dose HepA is also recommended for infants aged 6 to 11 months, children and teens traveling internationally.

Hepatitis B Vaccination

Another viral infection that impacts the liver, it is a more chronic infection than Hepatitis A. However, Hepatitis B can be prevented with 3 vaccination shots given:

  • Within 24 hours after birth (if the child is medically stable)
  • At 1–2 months
  • At 6–18 months (minimum age: 24 weeks)

Children below 19 years who have not been vaccinated previously can go for an alternative 2 doses (to be injected 4 weeks apart).

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination

HPV is a sexually-transmitted virus responsible for cervical cancer in both women and men. The HPV vaccine is recommended to prevent this infection and is most effective when administered during childhood. A routine of 2 or 3 doses is recommended depending on the person’s age at initial vaccination.

Although the ideal age to start this vaccination is 11–12 years, children with a history of sexual abuse must begin at 9 years.

Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccination (IPV)

Commonly known as the polio vaccine, IPV is given to eliminate the risk of permanent paralysis. A total of four doses are given at the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6–18 months
  • 4–6 years

Children who are traveling to a country with a greater risk of polio or during a widespread epidemic must complete their course before leaving. You can also ask your pediatrician to accelerate this schedule for early completion.

Influenza Vaccination

Also known as flu shots, the influenza vaccine is an annual seasonal flu vaccine that protects against this viral respiratory illness. Any age-appropriate influenza vaccine can be used, and 2 doses should be administered between 6 months–8 years, followed by a second dose after at least 4 weeks.

People with egg allergies must be vaccinated under the supervision of a health care provider.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination

The MMR vaccination is recommended to ensure protection against measles, mumps and rubella. It is given in two doses with each dose injected at ages:

  • 12–15 months
  • 4–6 years

Infants age 6–11 months should be given a shot before traveling outside the US. The maximum age suitable for MMRV is 12 years.

Meningococcal Serogroup A, C, W, Y Vaccination

Meningococcal meningitis is a serious bacterial infection affecting the brain and spinal cord. Although its prevalence in all age groups, including infants, has been declining in the US, vaccinating your child against this meningococcal meningitis is recommended nevertheless.

The routine meningococcal vaccination consists of 2 doses that are administered at 11–12 years and 16 years, respectively. If your child has missed this schedule, a catch-up vaccination routine can be followed as follows: the first dose at 13–15 years followed by a second dose at age 16–18 years.

Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccination

MenB vaccine is recommended for all preteens and teens for protection against meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B.

Typically, the first shot of MenB vaccination is given at age 11–12 years, followed by a booster dose at 16 years of age. However, the vaccination schedule tends to vary depending on individual clinical conditions.

Pneumococcal Vaccination

Pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, blood infections, and bacterial meningitis can be prevented through routine vaccination with PCV12. It is a 4-dose series administered at:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 12–15 months, respectively

Healthy children with an incomplete dose series are recommended for a catch-up vaccination with 1 dose of PCV13 at age 24–59 months.

Rotavirus Vaccination

The cases of acute gastroenteritis with diarrhea and vomiting in infants and young children are often caused by rotavirus, a viral infection. The routine vaccination against rotavirus involves:

  • Rotarix: 2 doses administered at 2 and 4 months each
  • RotaTeq: 3-dose series with each given at age 2 months, 4 months and 6 months.

The minimum age and maximum age for administering rotavirus vaccine are 15 weeks and 8 months respectively.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccination

Likewise, the DTap vaccination that is given to infants and young children, the Tdap vaccine is recommended for adolescents and pregnant women for the same purpose – to develop immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). It is also recommended as a booster vaccine for young adults between 7–18 years who couldn’t completely be immunized with DTap. In most of the cases, a single dose of Tdap will suffice.

Varicella Vaccination

Popularly known as chickenpox vaccine, varicella vaccination helps develop immunity to chickenpox, a highly contagious disease. The routine vaccination involves a 2-dose series which is administered as follows:

  • 1st dose at 12–15 months
  • 2nd dose at 4–6 years (or as early as after 3 months of the first shot)

The use of MMRV is suitable only until 12 years of age.

Although you are recommended to routinely keep up with your child’s vaccination schedule, don’t panic or start over if you miss a shot or the entire schedule. Instead, discuss with your pediatrician for a catch-up immunization program! Also, there may be instances, particularly related to the child’s health condition and medical history, when it is recommended or even necessary to reschedule the vaccination program.

In all such cases, our pediatricians at MD365™ will work with you to find out the right approach, while ensuring the health and safety of your child at all times.

Choose the Best Pediatrician for Your Child. Call MD 365™ at 631-772-4646 and Schedule an Appointment Today!

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