Most U.S. parents are protecting their children from vaccine-preventable disease by making sure they are getting recommended vaccines, and Louisiana parents are no different. Getting vaccines at the recommended ages protects children at the earliest age possible from serious vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccines are recommended at birth, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-15 months, 18-23 months, 4 years, 11-12 years, and 16 years of age. All young children have a high risk of getting sick from infections because their bodies do not yet have protection from vaccines or memory from fighting previous infections. Vaccines should not be delayed for school entry.
What vaccines does my child need?
There are seven essential childhood vaccines referred to the “Combined 7 vaccine series”. This includes the following:
- Diptheria-tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccine “DTaP” (4 or more doses)
- Inactivated poliovirus vaccine “IPV” (3 or more doses)
- Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine “MMR” (1 or more doses)
- Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine “Hib” (3 or 4 doses, depending on product type received)
- Hepatitis B vaccine “HepB” (3 or more doses)
- Varicella Vaccine “VAR” (1 or more doses)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine “PCV” (4 or more doses)
Other recommended vaccines include the following:
- Rotavirus “RV”
- Influenza “Flu”
- Hepatitis A “HepA”
- Human papillomavirus vaccine “HPV”
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine “MCV”
Children with an altered immune system, due to disease or medications, should see their pediatrician before getting live virus vaccines (such as MMR and VAR). For more detailed information on each vaccine, refer to the manufacturers’ product insert or visit the national immunization program website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines or call the national immunization hotline at 800-232-2522.
Click here for the 2018-2019 recommended immunization schedule.
Do I have to pay for the vaccination?
The Vaccine for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines, free of cost, to children 18 years of age or younger that are uninsured, underinsured, have Medicaid, or are an American Indian or Alaska Native. Although the vaccines are free, the doctor may charge you for the cost of an office visit. Any administrative fee must be waived if you are unable to pay it. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/index.html for more information on the VFC program.
Where do I get vaccines?
If you qualify for free vaccines, they are available at Parish Health Units and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). The day of the week that immunizations are available varies by each clinic. Please contact the clinic nearest you for the most updated information. Appointments are recommended. Click the map below to find a location nearest you or click here for a list.