It is surprisingly easy to get behind on your child’s immunizations, even if you are trying to stay on schedule.
How do you miss a shot?
Your child could have been sick when they were supposed to get their vaccines, your pediatrician might have been out of one or more vaccines, or you might have simply missed one of your child’s well checkups.
Catching Up On Vaccines
If If your child gets behind and misses one or more vaccines, be sure to get caught up as soon as possible.
If your child needs to get caught up quickly, like to start daycare or school, to travel out of the country, or because of a disease outbreak in your area, you can even use an accelerated immunization schedule, using minimum intervals between doses.
Depending on your child’s age, you might even be able to skip a few doses or vaccines.
For example, with rotavirus vaccines, vaccination should not be started if an infant is already 15 weeks old and the final dose must be given by 8 months of age.
And if your child gets their first dose of Hib after they are 15 months old, they don’t need any more doses. And they wouldn’t need any doses at all if they are already 5 years old.
Prevnar, IPV, and DTaP might also need to given on an alternative schedule when given on a catch-up schedule.
Specifically, your child might be able to skip:
- the fifth dose of the DTaP vaccine, if the fourth dose was given at age 4 years or older.
- the fourth dose of the IPV vaccine, if the third dose was given at age 4 years or older.
- one or more doses of Prevnar, depending on when the other doses were given. And like Hib, they wouldn’t need any doses at all if they are already 5 years old.
Is this a good way to get out of getting some doses or vaccines?
Of course not. In addition to missing out on those vaccines, your child is missing out on the protection from those vaccines.
“Combination vaccines can be used for children who have fallen behind. Combination vaccines may be used when any of the components are indicated and none are contraindicated. The minimum interval between doses is the greatest interval between any of the individual antigens.”
Immunization Action Coalition on Combination Vaccines
Using combination vaccines, like Pediarix, Pentacel, Kinrix, Quadracel, and ProQuad, etc., can make getting caught up easier too.
For More Information on Catch-Up Immunization Schedules
- How Do You Get Caught up If You Have Never Been Vaccinated?
- What Are the Recommended and Minimum Ages and Intervals Between Doses of Vaccines?
- Is There a Grace Period for Getting Vaccines?
- Avoiding the Most Common Vaccine Errors
- Missed Opportunities to Vaccinate
- Catch-Up Immunization Plans for Adults
- Catching up on 17 Years Worth of Vaccinations to Attend College
- Do You Ever Have to Restart an Immunization Series?
- CDC – Birth-18 Years & “Catch-up” Immunization Schedules
- CDC – Table 2. Catch-up immunization schedule for persons aged 4 months–18 years who start late or who are more than 1 month behind, United States, 2020
- CDC – Prevnar Catch Up for Healthy Children
- Catch-up Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 4 Months Through 18 Years Who Start Late or Who Are More Than 1 Month Behind – United States · 2018
Catch-Up Immunization Scheduler
- The Harm of Skipping Vaccinations or Delaying
- Ask the Experts about Combination Vaccines
- Recommendations for Pneumococcal Vaccine Use in Children and Teens