In some social circles, vaccines have become as much of an off-limits topic as politics and exes. But, regardless of opinion, the scientific rationale behind immunizations remains the same: to imitate infection with the goal of preventing the contraction or spread of serious diseases.
To protect the majority while simultaneously assuring the freedom of choice, the CDC mandates a number of vaccines, especially for school-age children, and recommends others as electoral.
The immunization schedule below is modeled by those issued by the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians to help individuals protect themselves through every stage of life.
The Virginia Department of Health requires 11 dose-compliant, age-appropriate vaccines between the start and conclusion of a child’s academic career. During this stage, children’s immune systems are evolving, thus making them more susceptible to disease, but in turn, more resilient.
The immunizations protect them against illnesses commonly contracted in daycares, schools and other communal spaces.
0 months – 6 years
Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (DTap)
Type b (Hib)
Hepatitis A (HAV)
& Rubella (MMR)
Through sports, clubs, dorm rooms and dining halls, children and young adults are exposed to a greater population of people. So, as they transition from middle school to high school and ultimately to college, the nature of their academic setting gradually increases their chances of contracting bacterial infections such as meningitis and viral infections like the flu.
7 years-18 years
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Meningococcal Conjugate (MenACWY)
Serogroup B meningococcal (MenB)
Much like college students, changes in living situations place seniors at a higher risk for contracting the flu, COVID-19 or pneumonia. These vaccinations and annual boosters protect individuals living in retirement communities and nursing homes but are also essential for those living independently. Shingles, on the other hand, are not contagious. The vaccine is a preventive measure for healthy adults age 50 or older.
50 years to 65 years
65 years and older
Pneumococcal (PCV15, PCV20, PPSV23)