Disease prevention is crucial to your health. Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to maintain good health and protect you and those you care about against infectious diseases. Vaccinations offer protection against serious diseases by stimulating the immune system to create antibodies against certain bacteria or viruses.
Get vaccination guidance from Mayo Clinic — including benefits, safety, side effects and what to know about recommended vaccines — for babies, children, teens, adults and during pregnancy. For recommended vaccines based on age, refer to the adult or child and adolescent schedules.
Contact your primary care practice site to make an appointment. The appointment coordinator can help you decide if you need to schedule a provider or nurse visit.
Review the history of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccines timeline for information about major disease outbreaks, epidemics, pandemics and the impacts of vaccines and research.
Mayo Clinic Recommended Vaccines for Children
Mayo Clinic recommends specific vaccines to help provide protection for school-age children and those in child care and school. These recommendations support state child care and school requirements for vaccines to be up to date. Mayo Clinic does not base its recommendations on state requirements. Mayo Clinic bases the recommendations on what your child needs, what is effective, and what is safe. If you need help knowing if your child is up to date, contact your primary care clinician for assistance.
Upon turning 9 years old, your child should start the two-dose HPV vaccine series. When entering seventh grade, your child is due for two vaccines. These are the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) and MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate) vaccines. When your child turns 16 years of age, a second MenACWY vaccine is due. Your child will also need the yearly influenza vaccine and stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccine due.
Mayo Clinic recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated for flu each year. Getting the flu vaccine is very important. Other respiratory illnesses have some of the same symptoms as flu. COVID-19, pneumonia and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are so similar that when having symptoms, it may be difficult to understand which virus is causing your symptoms. Getting symptoms from more than one respiratory illness increases the risk for hospitalization.
- Patients must wait until they are six months old to get their first dose of flu vaccine. Children age 6 months through 8 years who have previously receive two or more total doses of influenza four or more weeks apart before July 1, 2023, need one dose of the 2023-24 influenza vaccine. The two previous doses do not need to have been received in the same or consecutive influenza seasons.
- For those 6 months through 64 years of age, we recommend the standard age-appropriate flu vaccine and not the high-dose reserved for those 65 years and older.
- For those 2 years to 49 years who qualify, the nasal spray vaccine is an option.
- Mayo Clinic considers those who qualify for either the injectable or the nasal spray vaccine both as equivalent options and does not recommend one over the other. The manufacturer has made major improvements and strong evidence supports this recommendation.
- For those 65 years and older, Mayo Clinic recommends the high-dose flu vaccine.
- Patients who have egg allergies, including those with allergies that cause more than hives, no longer need a special vaccine or a referral to an allergy specialist. Also, they won't need to be observed for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. Studies show that patients with egg allergies have no increase in allergic reactions to the flu vaccine than non-allergic patients. Any allergic reaction to the flu vaccine is very rare.
Tetanus/diphtheria vaccine (Td) or tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) are booster vaccines. All adolescents should receive the Tdap booster at 11 to 12 years of age. Adolescents should receive an additional Tdap booster at 16 years of age. Those who have never received a Tdap in the past should get one dose now (this is regardless of prior Td dosing). Td or Tdap should be used to boost every 10 years but may be given sooner with an injury (your clinician will determine this need). Pregnant women should also get a dose of Tdap with each pregnancy.
Palivizumab (Synagis) has been given seasonally from November through March to aid in the prevention of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) in infants at high risk for hospitalization from RSV.This season a new monoclonal antibody called Nirsevimab (Beyfortus) is available and recommended for all infants less than 8 months of age at the start of their first RSV season which is typically Nov. 1 most years. Nirsevimab is also recommended for those high-risk children 19 months of age and younger in the second RSV season.
An adult vaccine for RSV called Abrexvy is also now available for those 60 years of age and older.