Back-to-School Immunizations

25 08 2006

School is starting soon?or has started in parts of the country. Everyone from preschoolers to collegians are slinging books and sitting on hard chairs.

At PKIDs, the end of summer means immunizations. Actually, it’s past time for certain school-entry vaccines, although most schools will cut you some slack if you’ve at least started the series of shots.

Reports are that college students are finding it hard to get the meningitis vaccine in some areas. Keep trying! It’s a rare but serious and deadly disease. You don’t want to risk not being vaccinated against it.

There’s a booster available for pertussis, or whooping cough, that adolescents need. The Chinese call it the 100-day cough and the disease is surging back after years of low incidence rates.

A new vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) is on the market. The CDC recommends the vaccine be given to girls when they are 11-12 years old. The recommendation also allows for vaccination of girls beginning at nine years old as well as vaccination of girls and women 13-26 years old. Ideally, the vaccine should be administered before onset of sexual activity (before women are exposed to the viruses), but females who are sexually active should still be vaccinated, according to the CDC.

My oldest daughter will be getting the HPV vaccine this fall. It helps prevent genital warts and cervical cancer, and you can’t beat that.

Parents need to check the schedule to make sure the younger kids are up-to-date on their immunizations. Check with your family doctor if you’re not sure which kids need which vaccines.

Grown-ups?don’t forget that you need immunizations, too. Look at the schedule and see if you need your tetanus/diphtheria booster, hepatitis A and B shots, flu shot and so on.

Check the website, www.pkids.org, or call the office at 877.557.5437 if you have any questions.


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