Vaccine Recommendations for Travelers Under 2 Years Old
Routine childhood immunizations should be up to date or accelerated prior to travel.
The following vaccines should be reviewed with a health care provider as far in advance of travel as possible to ensure the proper scheduling of recommended vaccines. The number of doses of routinely recommended vaccines a child needs depends on his or her age.
Infants and children up to 2 years of age should have received at least 3, and preferably 4 doses, of diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine by 2 years of age. One dose of DTaP affords little protection, 2 doses provide some protection and 3 doses 70 percent to 80 percent protection. Parents must be aware that a child with less than the minimum of 3 recommended doses of DTaP may not be protected from pertussis. Travelers should consider receiving the remaining doses of the vaccine at the recommended intervals (at least one month between each of the first 3 doses; six months between the third and fourth dose) while abroad.
Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine should be administered to all children 12 months of age or older. Measles vaccine or MMR may be given to infants 6 to 11 months of age who are going to areas of high risk for measles. Infants less than 6 months of age are protected by maternally derived antibodies.
Three doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) are recommended for all infants and children by 2 years of age. If an unvaccinated child is traveling in less than four weeks to an area where polio is known to be present, a single dose of oral polio vaccine (OPV) is recommended. If four or more weeks is available before travel, IPV is recommended, with four weeks separating the 3 doses.
Three doses of hepatitis B vaccine are recommended for all children by 2 years of age. The vaccination series may be begun at birth. The first 2 doses should be separated by at least four weeks. The third dose should follow the second dose by at least two months, and be given at least four months after the first dose. The third dose should not be given before 6 months of age.
Three or 4 doses (depending on the brand of vaccine used) of Hib vaccine are recommended by age 2 years. The vaccine can be given as early as 6 weeks of age, and each of the first 2 or 3 doses should be separated by at least four weeks. The last (third or fourth) dose of the series should be given on or after 12 months of age.
The following immunizations may be recommended: