With summer approaching and summer plans being made, remember to include updating your child’s immunizations. Immunizations are not just for babies.
The diseases that vaccines prevent can be dangerous, or even deadly. Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to disease.
The vaccines that recommended for adolescents include:
MMR (make sure that have had 2)
Varicella (make sure have had 2)
Tdap: Recommended at age 11 or 12. Td vaccine has been used for many years. It protects against tetanus and diphtheria. Tdap vaccine was licensed in 2005. It is the first vaccine for adults and adolescents that protects against pertussis (whooping cough) as well as tetanus and diphtheria.
MMR (measles, mumps and rubella): Most of our adolescents have had their 2 doses but important to check that your child has received both of them.
Varicella (chicken pox): The CDC now recommends a booster. So again check your child’s immunizations to see that they have had 2 shots.
HPV (human papillomavirus): This is a 3 dose series given over a 6 month period. Recommended ages for girls and boys to receive this vaccine is at 11-12 years of age. Can also be given to older adolescents. HPV can cause cervical cancer in women and the vaccine is important because it can prevent most cases of cervical cancer. Men can transmit this disease that is why it is important for males to receive this vaccine also.
Menactra: Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal disease can also cause blood infection. College students who live in dorms and teenagers 15-19 have an increased risk of getting meningococcal disease. 1 out of 10 who get the disease die from it, which is why it is important to prevent the disease through the use of vaccine.
Remember that August is a busy month – kids leaving for college, extra curricular activities start, etc, so you may want to schedule these appointments soon. If you have insurance that pays for vaccine, schedule your vaccinations to be done at the drs office. If you have Title 19, no insurance or your insurance does not pay for vaccines, schedule your appointments through Community Health.
If you have more questions regarding immunizations, Vaccine information statements are available through the KRHC Website: www.KRHC.com; Patient Services tab; Community Health tab; Immunizations; Vaccine Information located at the bottom of the page. Or you can always call your doctor, or Community Health at 515-295-4430.