Friday, August 3, 2012

Back to School Means Vaccination Time!

Back to school time means new clothes, new shoes, school supplies and a regular check up with your Pediatrician. Often this means booster shots. While children may not look forward to this part of back to school time, it is essential to good health and could be life saving. Vaccines save many lives and help stop the spread of disease which could be devastating in a close environment such as a school setting. Young children and children with any type of immunosuppression or chronic diseases are especially vulnerable to these diseases and they can have life-long, crippling affects.
Many parents worry about the side effects of immunizations on their children. In the last few years, there have been many celebrities speaking out about immunizations. It is important for parents to know that the most common side effects of immunizations are low grade fever and pain or soreness at the site of the injection (usually the arm or leg). Some children may experience cold or flu-like symptoms after receiving immunizations but this is usually very mild and only lasts a few days.
ü  Kindergarten brings immunizations for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. These are combination vaccinations so the child will receive a total of four injections.
ü  Middle school age children receive a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster as well as a meningococcal vaccine. Female children may also receive the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine per parental preference. This is not a required vaccine but is recommended for females over the age of 11. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. 
ü  High school age children receive a meningococcal booster at or around age 16.
If your child missed any scheduled vaccines, they can be caught up safely according to recommendations by your Physician. There are also optional vaccinations for diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A and influenza. You can discuss the need for these vaccinations and all concerns or questions about immunizations with your child’s Physician.
More information about vaccines and a downloadable immunization schedule are available at :