Skip to content

    Children's Vaccines Health Center

    Font Size

    Immunizations for Premature Infants - Topic Overview

    Routine immunizations

    Starting at 2 months after birth, premature infants need all the recommended immunizations that full-term infants get. The one immunization that your preemie may not get on schedule is the hepatitis B vaccine, which is usually given at birth. This vaccine doesn't work as well in very small preemies and may be given one month after birth if the mother does not have chronic hepatitis B infection.

    For more information about recommended immunizations, see the topic Immunizations.

    Recommended Related to Children's Vaccines

    Hepatitis A and B Vaccines: What You Need to Know

    What are hepatitis A and B? They are viruses that cause inflammation of the liver and can lead to long-term and even life-threatening problems. What are the symptoms? Many people with hepatitis don't have symptoms. But if you do, you may have a fever, fatigue, nausea, and a loss of appetite. Children may have severe stomach pains and diarrhea. How do you get these viruses? Hepatitis A is extremely contagious. You can get it by having close contact with someone who has it, or...

    Read the Hepatitis A and B Vaccines: What You Need to Know article > >

    Tdap and flu (influenza) vaccines for close contacts

    It's dangerous for a newborn to get pertussis (whooping cough) or the flu. If you have not yet had the vaccines for these diseases, get immunized as soon as possible. Ask teens and adults who have never had a tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) shot to get a dose at least 2 weeks before being in close contact with your baby. It's important for adults and children to get the yearly flu vaccine too. These vaccines can help protect your baby from severe problems from these diseases.

    When your infant is 6 months old (chronological age), he or she can start getting a yearly flu shot. This is especially important for babies who have chronic lung disease.

    Extra protection for your premature infant

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Premature infants, particularly those who have lung problems, have a higher risk of developing severe respiratory syncytial virus infection than full-term infants. Your infant's doctor may recommend a monthly injection of the RSV monoclonal antibody during the winter RSV season, which greatly reduces the risk of severe infection and hospitalization. For more information, see the topic Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Immunizations for Premature Infants Topics

    Today on WebMD

    Baby getting vaccinated
    Is there a link? Get the facts.
    syringes and graph illustration
    Get a customized vaccine schedule.
    baby getting a vaccine
    Know the benefits and the risk
    nurse holding syringe in front of girl
    Should your child have it?

    What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
    24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
    Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
    Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids

    Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
    gloved hand holding syringe
    infant receiving injection

    WebMD Special Sections