With the school year upon us, it’s important to check your children’s immunization records because keeping them up-to-date is required by schools.
More importantly, immunizations can save lives.
The benefits vaccines provide in protecting children outweigh small risks of serious problems. Concerned parents should communicate with their physician.
Children should receive the following vaccinations:
DtaP – The 5 DtaP shots protect your children against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (known as whooping cough).
Children who have received the DtaP shots and are 11 years old should get the tetanus booster.
IPV – This shot is given four times to help prevent polio.
MMR – The measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) immunization is given as two shots.
Hib – Haemophilus influenza type b is a primary cause of serious illness in children that can lead to meningitis, pneumonia and a severe throat infection that can cause choking.
Varicella – The varicella vaccine helps prevent chickenpox and is given to children once when they are 12 months old or older.
HBV – This shot helps prevent hepatitis B, an infection of the liver that can lead to liver cancer and death.
PCV – The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects against a type of bacteria that is a common cause of ear infections, meningitis and bacteremia (infection in the blood stream).
MCV4 – The menin-gococcal conjugate vaccine protects against four strains of bacterial meningitis caused by the bacteria N. meningitidis.
Children should get the MCV4 vaccine at 11 to 12 years of age or before starting high school.
Influenza – The flu vaccine is available by shot or by nasal spray and is given at the beginning of the flu season (October or November).
The shot is safe for children 6 months of age and older. The nasal spray is safe for children 2 years of age and older.
HPV – Although it is not required by schools, the HPV vaccine protects young women against the Human papillomavirus. The vaccine targets the four types of HPV that cause up to 70% of all cases of cervical cancer and about 90% of all cases of genital warts.
Girls should get this virus between the age of 11 and 26, or before becoming sexually active.
Additionally, it has been approved for boys.