Keeping Healthy with Screenings and Vaccinations

Getting vaccinated can protect you, your child and other members of the community from contagious diseases. Health screenings check for signs of disease before you have any symptoms. Seeing a doctor regularly helps make sure your family is safe and stays healthy.

Wellness visits, screenings and vaccinations are covered as part of your benefits.

View our guidelines to good health for a list of important screenings and exams:

You can talk to your doctor about important screenings and vaccinations during your wellness visit. An annual wellness visit is a good time to discuss which preventive services1 you need. A preventive service may be a screening, vaccination or advice from your doctor. Preventive services can detect or help prevent illness and health problems.

Why well-child visits matter more than you might think

Taking your baby to see a doctor is important when he or she is sick. But going to regular well-child visits can be just as important. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends well-child visits at one week, 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24 and 30 months.

It's important to get at least six well-child visits by the time your child turns 15 months old and at least two additional visits between 15 and 30 months old. Think of them as checkups for your child's growth and learning. The pediatrician will look at how your child is developing in several key areas: physical, emotional and social. The goal is to make sure things are going as expected. You will have a chance to share any concerns you have.

What to expect
Well-child visits from birth to 30 months old include:

  • Measurements to see how much your child has grown since the last visit
  • Physical exam to check your child's health from head to toe
  • Screenings for hearing and vision problems, lead exposure and more
  • Vaccines to protect your child from several serious illnesses

You and your child's pediatrician might also discuss:

  • Feeding your child
  • Keeping your child safe at home and in the car
  • Supporting your child's speech and learning
  • Creating bedtime routines

How you can help
You play a key role at well-child visits. Share information about what your child is doing at home. Go ahead — brag about the big milestones. Be open about any challenges that come up.

You may want to write down your top three to five questions before the visit. That way, you won't forget to ask them. Your child's pediatrician can be a great resource for helpful advice.

Older kids and teens
As your child grows older, well-child visits are spaced further apart. But they're still very important. One helpful part of the visits is called anticipatory guidance. This involves you, your child and your child's pediatrician talking about key issues that may come up soon. The issues are geared to your child's age. Examples are bike helmets, time limits for electronic devices and not smoking.

Your child's pediatrician will suggest tips and tools for dealing with these issues. Feel free to ask questions and talk about your concerns. This helps the pediatrician give the best advice for your family's needs.

Why vaccinations are important

Vaccinations play a vital role in personal health and wellness.

They’re important to your community
Vaccinations help stop contagious diseases from spreading to others in your area. If most of the community is immunized, it’s harder for a contagious disease to spread.

They’re important for your health
Staying up to date on your vaccinations helps keep you healthy so you can focus more on your work, friends and family.

They're important for your children's health
Vaccinations are an important part of helping to ensure your child stays healthy through his or her developmental years.

Schools require your child to have certain vaccinations. Anytime your child first enrolls in a school, you'll be asked for his or her vaccine records. This could happen when your child starts kindergarten or seventh grade, or when your child first enrolls in a new school district.

Vaccines help stop disease from spreading. When students don’t get all their vaccines, diseases could start spreading around a school. Knowing school vaccination rules helps ensure your child is ready for school.

Required vaccinations
Michigan students are required to have these vaccines:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (DTaP)
  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

According to rules established by the state of Michigan (as of Jan 1, 2015), children must have their current vaccines or a certified, nonmedical waiver from their county health department. If they don’t have their vaccines or a waiver, they may not be able to start school.

To get the waiver, a parent or guardian must get information from the health department about the benefits and risks of vaccines. This allows them to make an informed choice and could prompt the health department to issue a waiver. For more information, call your local county health department.

To find out if your child has had all the vaccines he or she needs:

Guidelines for every screening and vaccination

Age

Immunization and Dose

Birth

Hepatitis B:
1st dose

Neonatal and hearing screening:
Once after 24 hours at birth and again between 3 days and 2 months

Vision screening:
Every visit beginning at birth

0 – 30 months Well-child exam, parental education:
11 visits that will cover nutrition, development, injury and poison prevention, SIDS, coping skills, tobacco-use screening, secondhand smoke, height, weight, body mass index and depression screening
Before 2 months Hepatitis B:
2nd dose
2 months DTaP:
1st dose
HIB – Haemophilus:
1st dose
IPV – Polio:
1st dose
Pneumococcal Conjugate – Pneumonia:
1st dose
Rotavirus:
1st dose
4 months DTaP:
2nd dose
HIB – Haemophilus:
2nd dose
IPV – Polio:
2nd dose
Pneumococcal Conjugate – Pneumonia:
2nd dose
Rotavirus:
2nd dose
6 months DTaP:
3rd dose
HIB – Haemophilus:
3rd dose if needed
Pneumococcal Conjugate – Pneumonia:
3rd dose
Rotavirus:
3rd dose if needed (no later than 8 months)
6 – 18 months Hepatitis B:
3rd dose (up to 18 months)
IPV – Polio:
3rd dose
6 months – 21 years Flu:
Yearly
Oral health:
– Twice a year
– Dental fluoride varnish twice a year starting at 18 months
12 – 15 months HIB – Haemophilus:
3rd or 4th dose
MMR:
1st dose
Pneumococcal Conjugate – Pneumonia:
4th dose
Varicella (Chickenpox):
1st dose
12 – 23 months Hepatitis A:
2 doses, separated by 6 months, between 1st and 2nd birthdays
12 and 24 months Blood lead testing:
Twice
15 – 18 months DTaP:
4th dose
18 and 24 months Autism spectrum disorder screening:
Twice
3 – 21 years Well-child exam, parental education:
Annual visits that will cover nutrition, development, injury and poison prevention, SIDS, coping skills, tobacco-use screening, secondhand smoke, height, weight, body mass index and depression screening
4 – 6 years DTaP:
5th dose
IPV – Polio:
4th dose
MMR:
2nd dose
Varicella (Chickenpox):
2nd dose
7 – 10 years Tdap:
If risk of exposure
9 – 11 years Cholesterol screening:
Once
9 – 13 years HPV (Human Papillomavirus):
2 doses, at least 6 months apart
11 – 12 years Meningococcal:
1st dose
Tdap:
1 dose
11 – 21 years HIV screening:
At least once
Sexually transmitted infection screening, including chlamydia:
Talk with your doctor
12+ years Preconception and pregnancy prevention and counseling:
Every year at age 12 or earlier if sexually active
15 – 21 years HPV (Human Papillomavirus):
3 doses, 4 weeks between 1st and 2nd doses, then 12 weeks between 2nd and 3rd doses, if needed
16 – 18 years Meningococcal:
2nd dose
17 – 21 years Cholesterol screening:
Once

This grid is based on American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about anything listed on this grid.

Age

Immunization and Dose

After age 12

Tdap:
1 dose if not previously vaccinated; booster every 10 years; pregnant women need a dose in every pregnancy.

9 – 26

HPV (Human Papillomavirus): 
3 doses, if needed

Childbearing

Pregnancy prenatal care:
Week 8: First visit
Weeks 8 to 28: Monthly
Weeks 28 to 36: Every 2 weeks
Weeks 36 to birth: Weekly

Pregnancy postpartum visits:
Between 7 and 84 days after delivery

18 – 64 years  MMR:
1–2 doses if needed 

Pneumococcal (Meningitis and Pneumonia): 
If high risk

18 – 65+ years

Blood pressure screening:
Every year

Diabetes screening:
Overweight and obese adults should be screened for Type 2 diabetes

Flu: 
Every year

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal:
If high risk

Hepatitis C:
Once in your lifetime or during each pregnancy

Tetanus: 
Once every 10 years

Varicella (Chickenpox):
2 doses if needed

20+

Cholesterol screening (fasting lipoprotein profile):
Every four to six years

21+

Cervical cancer screening (Pap test):
– Every three years if you're 21 to 29 years old
– Pap test every three years or HPV test every five years if you’re 30 to 64 years old
– Ask your doctor if you’re 65 or older

24 and younger

Chlamydia screening:
– Every year if sexually active
– Pregnant woman at high risk should be screened

25 and older

Chlamydia screening:
– Every year if high risk
– Pregnant women at high risk should be screened

40+

Breast cancer screening (mammogram):
– Talk to your doctor if you’re 40 to 44 years old.
– Every year if you’re 45 to 54 years old
– Every 2 years or every other year if you’re 55 and older

50+

Colorectal cancer screening:
Talk to your doctor

Zoster (Shingles):
1 dose

65+

Pneumococcal (Meningitis and Pneumonia):
1 dose for everyone 65 and older; revaccinate at age 65 if first vaccine was received before age 65 and 5 years or more have passed since that first dose was given

This grid is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about anything listed on this grid. 

Age

Immunization and Dose

After age 12

Tdap:
1 dose if not previously vaccinated; booster every 10 years

9 – 21

HPV (Human Papillomavirus): 
3 doses

Sexually active

Chlamydia screening:
Talk with your doctor

18 – 64 years

MMR:
1–2 doses if needed

Pneumococcal (Meningitis and Pneumonia): 
If high risk

18 – 65+ years

Blood pressure screening:
Every year

Diabetes screening:
Overweight and obese adults should be screened for Type 2 diabetes

Flu: 
Every year

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal:
If high risk

Hepatitis C:
Once in your lifetime or during each pregnancy

Tetanus: 
Once every 10 years

Varicella (Chickenpox):
2 doses if needed

20+

Cholesterol screening (fasting lipoprotein profile):
Every four to six years

50+

Colorectal cancer screening:
Talk to your doctor

Prostate cancer screening:
Talk to your doctor; Black men and those with a family history of prostate cancer should ask their doctor if they should be screened at age 45

Zoster (Shingles):
1 dose

65+

Pneumococcal (Meningitis and Pneumonia):
1 dose for everyone 65 and older; revaccinate at age 65 if first vaccine was received before age 65 and 5 years or more have passed since that first dose was given

This grid is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about anything listed on this grid.

1. “Preventive Services for Health Living,” familydoctor.org, July 21, 2020, familydoctor.org/preventive-services-healthy-living/