Why VaccinateUpdated 1-11-24

Vaccines strengthen a child’s immune system and provide protection before a child is exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Certain vaccines are recommended at different ages for two primary reasons:

  • It is the age when the vaccine works the best with your child or teen's immune system.
  • It is the time when your child or teen needs the protection the most.

Vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages. Talk with your child's healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns.

Vaccine Facts Flyer for Infants

Vaccine Facts (Flyer)

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Vaccine Schedules - Birth through 6 Years

Click here for the 2024 recommended vaccines for infants and children from birth through 6 years.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) develops recommendations for U.S. immunizations based on extensive research and evidence. The recommendations include ages when vaccines should be given, number of doses, time between doses, and precautions and contraindications. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommends on-time routine immunization of all children and adolescents according to the recommended schedule.

Vaccines Required for Children in Pre-Kindergarten (child care)
Children in Pre-Kindergarten (Child Care) need:
Age when admitted Number of doses required of each immunization
2 through 3 months 1 Polio, 1 DTaP, 1 Hep B, 1 Hib
4 through 5 months 2 Polio, 2 DTaP, 2 Hep B, 2 Hib
6 through 14 months 2 Polio, 3 DTaP, 2 Hep B, 2 Hib
15 through 17 months 3 Polio, 3 DTaP, 2 Hep B, 1 Varicella
On or after 1st birthday: 1 Hib*, 1 MMR
18 months through 5 years 3 Polio, 4 DTaP, 3 Hep B, 1 Varicella
On or after 1st birthday: 1 Hib*, 1 MMR

*One Hib dose must be given on or after the 1st birthday regardless of previous doses. Required only for children younger than 5 years old.
DTaP=diphtheria toxoid, tetanus toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine
Hib=Haemophilus influenzae, type B vaccine
Hep B=hepatitis B vaccine
MMR=measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine
Varicella=chickenpox vaccine

Where to get a Vaccine

There are many places where your child or teen can get vaccinated. Most insurance policies cover recommended vaccines and there are resources available to help cover the cost if you are uninsured.

If you have insurance:

  • At your healthcare provider or pediatricians’ office.
  • Retail pharmacies, such as Rite Aid or CVS

If you don't have insurance or are underinsured:

  • Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) offers vaccines at no cost for eligible* children through VFC-enrolled healthcare providers**. Use the tool below to locate VFC enrolled providers near you.
    • *Children ages 18 years or younger who meet at least one of the following requirements: American Indian or Alaska Native, Medicaid-eligible, Uninsured, or Underinsured.
    • **Most pediatricians in the U.S. are now VFC enrolled providers.

For a list of free and low-cost vaccine clinic locations in Los Angeles County, click here.

To locate COVID-19, Flu, and Mpox vaccines, visit ph.lacounty.gov/vaccines.

Vaccine Finder Tool - VFC Providers

If you are using a mobile device, click here to access the vaccine finder tool.

Locating Vaccination Records

It is important to keep your child’s vaccination records (the history of which vaccines they received) up to date and in a safe place. Without them, your child might not be allowed to attend school, play sports, or travel abroad. Your child may need their vaccination records later as adults for certain occupations.

If you are unable to locate your child's vaccination records, there are a few places where you can find them:

Additional Resources

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  • Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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