Immunizations are good for grams and gramps, moms and pops, and little ‘uns of all ages. But, wow it’s hard to keep up with who’s supposed to get what, and when they’re supposed to get it.
Every year about this time, the CDC puts out a revised immunization schedule. I’m not sure how many people wait on the edge of their seats for the schedule to come out. I think it’s one of those things that we should care about, that some of us actually do care about, but that’s not as exciting as waiting for the next Star Wars movie to come out.
Exciting or not, immunizations do help keep us healthy. They’re important! So, let’s briefly go over the changes for this year.
For all of us, the usual vaccines are on the schedule, plus there are a few vaccines that need particular attention.
In addition to the existing meningitis vaccines, there are currently two vaccines that protect against meningitis B. The ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) approved the recommendation that kids 10 years of age and older who are at higher risk for infection should get vaccinated against this strain of meningitis.
Young people ages 16-23 years who are not at higher risk for infection may get vaccinated, and should check with their providers to see about doing so.
We strongly encourage young people to protect themselves against meningitis B through immunization, unless their providers determine there are medical reasons not to do so.
There is a vaccine that protects against nine strains of the human papillomavirus. There are also vaccines available that protect against fewer strains of HPV, but we believe it’s important to protect kids as thoroughly as possible. We suggest you talk to your provider to see which HPV vaccine you or those you love should get. This vaccine is typically given between ages 11 and 12, but as with all vaccines, you can usually follow a catch-up schedule if you miss some immunizations.
There are more vaccines on the schedule. What you should get depends on many factors—check with your healthcare provider about what you need to stay up-to-date on your immunizations.
For a complete list of current recommendations, click here.
by Trish Parnell