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Information about Vaccines for Children, Adolescents, and Adults

This section contains information to help people of all ages make informed decisions about vaccinations.

Need help paying for vaccines? (CDC web site)

Examine the science behind vaccinations, the return of preventable diseases, and the risks of opting out - watch Vaccines - Calling the Shots (PBS website)

Pregnant Women and New Moms - sign up for Text4baby - free cell phone text messages to keep you and your baby healthy.  It's easy and free.

Download Free Vaccine Mobile App - Vaccines on the Go: What You Should Know (Vaccine Education Center, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website) 
Busy parents can access information on the safety, science, and importance of vaccines with this app for Iphone and Android.

Measles What it is, what it can do, and how you can prevent it. (Immunization Action Coalition website)
Measles: Why Vaccinate Adults?
(National Foundation for Infectious Diseases website)

Considering delaying vaccines or an "alternative schedule" such as Dr. Bob's?
You may want to watch this: What is the Harm in Delaying or Spacing Out Vaccines (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) 

Get Answers to Your Vaccine Questions (Vaccinate Your Baby website)
Sound Advice (American Academy of Pediatrics website)  This website offers a collection of interviews with pediatricians, researchers, advocates, and other parents to answer questions about children's vaccines.  

Learn about 
Aluminum in Vaccines (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website), 
Too Many Shots Too Soon? (Vaccinate Your Baby website)

2017 Childhood Immunization Schedule (CDC website) Spanish version (CDC website)

2017 Recommended Immunizations for Preteens and Teens (7-18 years) (CDC website) Spanish version (CDC web site)

Parents - Are Your Kids Up-To-Date on Their Shots?

Helpful Vaccine Information

Oklahoma Immunization Requirements

Where to Get Immunizations in Oklahoma

Who Needs Vaccines and When 

Vaccine Safety

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Why Vaccinating is Important

  • PKIDS Online (Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDS) web site)

How Vaccines Work (The History of Vaccines web site)

How Vaccines Work (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia web site)

How Vaccines are Made (The History of Vaccines web site)

Whatever Happened to Polio? (Smithsonian National Museum of American History web site)

History of Vaccines: Smithsonian National Museum of American History web site.

Where to Find More Information 

Who Needs Vaccines and When

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Flu Vaccine The Flu: A Guide for Parents

 Vaccines for Babies Birth through 12 Months

  • Babies need hepatitis B vaccine before they leave the hospital.
  • Then they need vaccine at 2, 4, 6, 12 to 15 and at 15 -18 months of age.
  • In the first six months of life babies need:
    • 3 doses of DTaP (51k.pdf) shots to protect against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough)
    • 3 doses of IPV (57k.pdf) (inactivated polio vaccine) shots to protect against polio
    • 3 doses of Rotavirus (605.5k.pdf) vaccine drops to protect against rotavirus disease (vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration)
    • 3 doses of PCV (57k.pdf) (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) to protect against pneumococcal disease, including meningitis and blood infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria
    • 2 or 3 doses of Hib (57k.pdf) (Haemophilus influenzae type B) shots to protect against disease caused by the Hib bacterium such as meningitis
    • 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine (57k.pdf) to protect against liver disease caused by hepatitis B virus, including the dose given at birth
  • This doesn't mean your baby will need shots for each dose, because combination vaccines can be used.
  • Baby shots are usually given at the baby’s regular check-ups at 2, 4, and 6 months, but they can be started anytime.
  • If your baby is six months or older he or she needs influenza vaccine during the flu season which is usually October through March.

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On-Time Immunization Matters, Especially for Babies

  • It is important for babies to stay on schedule with immunizations, because they are not protected from the diseases until they have their shots.
  • ACIP Schedule for Birth - 18 years or younger.
  • All you have to remember is that your baby needs shots at 2,4, 6, and 12 months of age.
  • Make  A Schedule for Your Child (CDC web site) is a program that lets you make a personal schedule based on your baby's birth date and lists the actual calendar dates when your baby is due for shots.

5 Tips to Make Sure Your Baby Gets the Right Immunization at the Right Time

  1. Every time your baby gets an immunization, always book the appointment for the next immunization if you can - even if it's months away.
  2. As soon as you know the date of your baby's next immunization appointment, write it on your calendar.
  3. Ask you doctor or nurse for a State of Oklahoma Official Vaccination Record to make it easy to keep track of all the vaccines your baby has received.
  4. Take your baby's record with you every time so that your doctor or nurse can keep it up-to-date.
  5. Keep your baby's vaccination record in a safe place. You may need it later on if you change doctors, move to another state, and to enroll your child in daycare or school.

Vaccines for Toddlers Age 1 to 2

  • When your baby reaches one year of age, he or she needs
    • MMR vaccine (62.1k.pdf) 1st dose to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella  (German measles) which can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, deafness, blindness, and cognitive or intellectual disabilities
    • Varicella vaccine (49.1k.pdf) 1st dose to protect against chickenpox
    • DTaP (51k.pdf) (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine) 4th dose
    • PCV (57k.pdf) (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) 4th dose
    • Hib (57k.pdf) (Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine) 3rd or 4th dose
    • Hepatitis A vaccine (49.1k.pdf) to protect against liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus- 1st dose
  • At 18 months, your toddler can receive the 2nd dose of Hepatitis A vaccine.  The 2nd dose is due 6 to 18 months after the 1st dose.
  • Make sure your toddler completes his or her immunizations before age two so they have the best protection.
  • Don’t worry if your child is behind on shots, he or she can get back on schedule and catch up.
  • Ask your doctor or clinic to make sure you have a complete record.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about vaccines ask your doctor or visit one of the web sites listed in “Where To Find More Information” below.

Vaccines for Children Ages 4 to 6

  • DTaP (51k.pdf) and Polio (57k.pdf) boosters and second doses of MMR (62k.pdf) and Varicella (chickenpox) are due at age 4 to 6 years or before starting kindergarten.
  • These boosters can be given as early as 4 years of age.
  • Remember August is the busiest month of the year for clinics that give immunizations, but, you don’t have to wait until July or August to get these boosters.   
  • Your child can receive these boosters anytime after the 4th birthday.
  • If your child is behind on shots, it’s not too late; he or she can get back on schedule and catch up.

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Vaccines for Adolescents Age 11-12 (511.6k.pdf)

  • Tdap (A booster dose for protection against diphtheria,(122k.pdf)  tetanus,(123k.pdf) and pertussis  126k.pdf [whooping cough]).  By the time children reach 11 to 12 years of age immunity to tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis has started to wane.
  • MCV (128k.pdf) Meningococcal conjugate vaccine
  • HPV (875k.pdf) Human papillomavirus vaccine protects against the virus that causes 70% of cervical cancer in women and other cancers in men and women.

Vaccines for All Adults

Adults need immunizations too.
Immunity to tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) wanes over time and other vaccines are needed based on age and activities.

  • Tdap - One dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine should be substituted for one dose of Td.
  • Td (tetanus (122.8k.pdf) and diphtheria (129.3k.pdf)) booster is recommended for all adults every 10 years.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for adults at risk.
  • MMR (measles [71k.pdf] mumps [69.8k.pdf] rubella vaccine for adults who have never had these diseases.  Adults born after 1956 may not be immune to these diseases because the vaccines were not required when they entered school and the diseases were not circulating as widely because vaccines were coming into use.
  • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine for adults who have never had chickenpox.

Vaccines for Pregnant Women 

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Vaccines for Adults Age 50 and Older

Influenza (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases web site) 
Adults 50 years of age and older are at high risk for complications form influenza.  
Influenza vaccine is recommended yearly.

Adults 60 and Older

Shingles (100k.pdf) Herpes zoster vaccine

Vaccines for Adults Age 65 and Older

Pneumococcal (89k.pdf) polysaccharide vaccine (PPV)

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Where to Get Immunizations in Oklahoma

Children and adolescents with health insurance are  encouraged to visit their regular doctor to obtain vaccinations.
Children and adolescents can also receive vaccines from:

  • Their regular doctor, 
  • Any county health department (Okla. State Dept. of Health website) in the state,
  • Other public clinics such as Indian Health Service and tribal clinics and community health centers, and
  • The Oklahoma Caring Foundation.  Visit the  Oklahoma Caring Foundation website for information.

Adults can receive vaccines from their regular doctor and form many pharmacies located throughout the state. 
To find a vaccine provider near you, use the Adult Vaccine Finder
Many county health departments also offer MMR, Td, Tdap, influenza, and pneumococcal vaccine to adults.  Some county health departments offer other adult vaccines for a fee. Check with your local county health department.  

Oklahoma's Immunization Requirements

Vaccines Required for Childcare in Oklahoma (20k.pdf)

Guide to Immunization Requirements in Oklahoma: 2019-20 School Year (61k.pdf).

Requirements for Students in Post-Secondary Schools (7k.pdf)


Two laws established vaccine requirements in Oklahoma:

  • The Child Care Facilities Licensing Act, Title 10, Oklahoma Statutes, Sections 411-415 - for children attending childcare facilities, and    
  • The Immunization Act of the Oklahoma School Code (10.2k.pdf) Title 70, Oklahoma Statutes, Sections 1210.191 – 1210.193 for children attending elementary, middle, and high school both public and private schools and Sections 3243 & 3244 for students in college or post-secondary educational institutions.
  • The regulations for enforcing the laws for childcare, preschool, elementary, middle and high school are established by the Oklahoma State Board of Health.
  • Implementation of the requirements for colleges or post-secondary schools is the responsibility of the governing bodies or board of regents for each public or private post-secondary institution.

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Vaccine Safety Information

  • Vaccine safety is important to all of us and we all have a part in ensuring vaccine safety, including parents, vaccine recipients, doctors, nurses, medical assistants, government agencies, vaccine manufacturers, and the local and national community.

Parents and Vaccine Recipients Responsibilities to Ensure Vaccine Safety

  • Read the Vaccine Information Statements
    • Ask questions so you understand the risks of the diseases and the benefits and risks of the vaccines.
  • Take the Vaccine Information Statements home with you; 
    • You will have them for reference if you need to know what vaccine side effects to expect and what side effects need immediate medical attention.
  • Keep a personal record of vaccines that you and your children have received.
    • Take these records with you to all health-care visits to ensure that you and your children are kept up-to-date on vaccines and so you or your child do not get extra doses of vaccine.
  • Report severe or unusual reactions to vaccines to your health care provider.
    • These reactions will be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System which is a nationwide system for tracking adverse events following immunizations.  
    • The system will work only if reactions are reported.
  • Make decisions about vaccination based on reliable information. The decisions you make about vaccines can seriously effect your child's life, your life, and the lives of many other people in your community.

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Where to Find More Information

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Special Announcements
Whooping cough is on the rise in communities across the United States. The disease can be very severe, even deadly, for babies younger than 6 months of age. Whooping cough vaccines are the best way to prevent the disease and protect the infants in your life. Ask your doctor about Tdap vaccine.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where can I find a copy of my child's shot record?
A: You can find a record at the clinic or doctor's office where your child received the shots. If that doesn't work here are some more options.

Q: Why should we immunize against diseases we rarely see?
A: We need to immunize against diseases we rarely see because they still occur in other parts of the world and if we stop vaccinating the diseases will come back.

Q: Will my child have any side effects from vaccines?
A: Most children have no side effects after receiving vaccines, however, some side effects are considered normal, such as mild pain, redness and swelling at the site where the shot is given. However, vaccines like any medicine can cause serious problems such as allergic reactions, although these are very rare.

Q: Is it safe for my baby to receive all of these vaccines at one time?
A: Yes, babies' immune systems can handle much more than they are exposed to with several vaccinations on the same day.

Q: What if we get behind on the schedule?
A: You do not have to start over. Simply make an appointment and pick up the schedule where you left off.

Q: Can I take my child to any County Health Department to get their vaccinations?
A: Yes, you can take your child to any County Health Department in Oklahoma to get their vaccinations. If your child has health insurance that covers the cost of vaccines, we recommend they receive their vaccines from your regular doctor or clinic. However, if your health insurance does not cover the cost of a particular vaccine, the child may receive that vaccine from a County Health Department.

Interesting Facts
Currently, all vaccines in the routine infant immunization schedule are manufactured without thimerosal as a preservative. As of January 14, 2003, the final lots of vaccines containing thimerosal as a preservative expired.

There is no scientific evidence that thimerosal caused any harm to infants.

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