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Please note this page has been updated to 2011
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How many Injections of Vaccines before age six will your child get?
And how many Antigens do these Vaccines contain?
Injection: A single shot that may contain vaccines for more than one disease.
A vaccine against a single disease may contain several antigens (strains of pathogen associated with a single disease.). Some people will count this as several vaccines. For consistency and clarity, we will count this as one vaccine containing several antigens. Here, the word vaccine refers to a concoction against a single disease regardless of how many strains of pathogen (separate antigens) are in the vaccine. We will use the word antigen to count each stimulation to the immune system by a separate antigen.
Example: The polio vaccine contains three different viruses. Each virus is an antigen, thus this triple antigen injection will be counted as a single vaccine containing 3 antigens within one injection. Or in one sugar cube, if referring to the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).
As another example, the pneumococcal vaccine (PCV) contains 7 strains of pneumococcal viruses. The pneumococcal vaccine also contains diphtheria toxin. While this vaccine contains a total of 8 antigens it is only intended to be a vaccine against seven strains of pneumococcal disease. The diphtheria component is present in the vaccine to boost the immune system response so more antibodies againt the pneumococcal antigens are created. The diphtheria component in the Hib vaccine is for the same purpose. However, other single injections contain multiple vaccines. Each antigen is a separate vaccine. Example: DTP is a triple vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. MMR is another triple vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.
|Table 1. Year 2007.
Number of Injections ACIP recommends before Age 6.
Number of antigens in each injection.
|# of Antigens
|# of Injections
(in CDC schedule)
|Total # of Antigens|
(Injections x Antigens)
|Hep b||Hepatitis B||1||3||3|
|Hib||Hib + Diphtheria||2||4||8|
|DTaP||diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis||3||5||15|
|IPV||3 strains of polio||3||4||12|
|Prevnar (PCV)||pneumococcal 7 strains + diphtheria||8||4||32|
|MMR||measles, mumps and rubella||3||2||6|
|Varicella||chicken pox (1 primary + 1 booster)||1||2||2|
|Influenza||3 strains of influenza||3||7||21|
|Rotavirus||5 strains (Rotateq)||5||3||15|
|Hepatitis A||Hepatitis A||1||2||2|
|Meningococcal||4 strains |
(given to High Risk groups only)
|4||2 *||8 *||Totals||Injections*||Antigens*||Totals * = High Risk children||38 *||124 *||Totals | for Low Risk Children||36||116|
|Thus, if your child has a low risk for Meningococcal disease, he or she will receive 36 injections, and if in a high risk group will receive two more for a total of 38 injections. The 36 injections include 116 antigens, and if the Meningococcal vaccine is received the antigen count climbs to 124.|
Vaccines recommended before age six in 1983 compared to 2007.In 1983, a child received 10 injections before age six but in 2007 the number of injections recommended is 36.
(Age for recommended injection is shown in parentheses.)
In 1983, the 10 injections against seven diseases included a total of 30 antigens. The child's body experienced 30 separate stimulations of the immune system from vaccines.
In 2007, the 36 recommended injections contain 116 antigens or almost 4 times as many stimulations of the immune system as in 1983.
To download the 2007 Child and/or Adolescent recommended schedules, click here: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/
A reduced size of the 2007 CDC chart is here.
The Vaccine Schedule graph above was downloaded from: http://www.whale.to, an excellent site for vaccine information.
Diseases Added to Vaccination Schedule 1985 to 2006
Age: Birth to Adolescent
This graph of individual vaccines in the Routine Childhood & Adolescent Schedules is thanks to:
Note: The vaccines recommended in 2006 are the same as for 2007.
You can see at a glance that 3 vaccines were added between 1985 and 1995. Then 5 more vaccines were added for boys between 1995 and 2006 and a 6th vaccine (HPV) was added to the recommended list for girls.
Thus over twice as many vaccines are recommended in 2007 as in 1985. The number of antigens has increased by 4 times.
From 1985-1995 - 3 vaccines were added to the recommended schedule.
From 1995-2006 - 6 more vaccines were added to the recommended schedule.
2007 Vaccine Schedule as recommended by the ACIP/CDCThe graph above is reduced in size from the original. The larger original with explanations was found at:
There is a page of links to several versions of the CDC 2007 Childhood and Adolescent schedules at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/child-schedule.htm.
Comparison of CDC recommendations 1983 and 2007:
Instant Childhood Immunization Scheduler
This CDC website has a 2008 vaccine scheduler. (Listed for information only, we do not recommend vaccinations.)
Are we over vaccinating our children -- Yes
Cynthia Janak compares the vaccination schedules of 33 countries.
Links to National Childhood Vaccination Schedules
2005 through 2010 Immunization Schedule - Japan
Vaccination Schedule - India
The CDC has an archive of vaccine schedules here:
They years 1995 through 2010 are available in html files, plus 1983, 1989 and 1994 are available as JPEGs.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has a "immunization" history schedule here:
Merck Manual, 1950, basic portion of vaccine schedule
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Found at Mothering.Com Magazine