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Children Vaccinations

Most children receive a host of vaccinations in their first years of life to protect them from diseases such as polio, measles and chickenpox. But those are not the only vaccines your children will need to stay healthy. The vaccines below are highly recommended by physicians to prevent your adolescent from contracting and spreading an infectious disease. It is never too late to protect your child's health!

Helpful Tips

  • Create a vaccination schedule
  • Pre-schedule vaccination series appointments
  • Educate your adolescent on preventative health and wellness
  • Schedule a consultation with a pediatrician or primary care doctor

Immunization Schedules

Our physicians follow the immunization schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which is available at the www.cdc.gov.

Delaying Vaccines

Our physicians strongly recommend following the immunization schedule recommended by the ACIP and AAP, and advise against placing children at increased risk of contracting vaccine-preventable illnesses by delaying these vaccines.

Vaccines

The vaccines listed below should be given by a pediatrician or primary care doctor between the ages of 11-13. There are some cases where adolescents cannot safely receive the vaccine and this should be discussed with a physician. The HPV, Meningococcal, Tdap and Flu vaccine have been thoroughly studied and are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More information can be found by clicking here.

  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

    The HPV vaccine offers protection against the human papillomavirus infection, a common virus spread between two people through sexual contact. Fourteen million people, including adolescents, are diagnosed with HPV each year. Contracting HPV can lead to cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in women and penil cancer in men. HPV has also been found to cause anal and throat cancer in addition to genital warts in both men and women.

    Most children receive their first dose of the HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old, however it can be given as early as age 9. For children who start the vaccine before their 15th birthday only two doses are required, usually 6 months apart. Children receiving the vaccine after their 15th birthday will require a series of three shots.

     As with all vaccines, it is important to vaccinate when it has been proven safe and effective to do so, rather than trying to time the vaccine around the likelihood of infection. Therefore HPV vaccination should be completed when it is most effective, at 11-12 years old, well before sexual activity is anticipated, however it can be given down to age 9. As long as the vaccine is started before age 15, however, only two doses are recommended, 6 months apart. Data shows that 9-14 year olds actually develop immunity better than children over 15 years old, so for those delaying vaccination until after their 15th birthday, a three dose series is still recommended.

  • Meningoccocal

    Meningococcal infections are rare but can be dangerous and deadly if contracted. The Meningococcal vaccine helps protect adolescents from the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. This bacteria can cause meningitis, a severe infection of the fluid and lining in the brain and spinal cord, as well as bacteremia or septicemia, a vicious infection of the bloodstream. According to the CDC, nearly 10-15 out of 100 cases of meningococcal disease result in death. 

  • TDAP (Tetanus-Diphtheria-Acelluar Pertussis)

    Newborns and young children are given a vaccination (DTaP) which protects them from various dieases such as tetanus, purtussis (whooping cough) and diphtheria. As the child grows, the vaccination wears off leaving the adolescent child at risk for the same diseases but on more severe level.

    Adolescents should be vaccinated with one Tdap shot at the age of 11 or 12. Unvaccinated teens (13-18) should see their physician as soon as possible. The Tdap vaccination protects an adolescent against:
    Tetanus - A disease caused by a poisonous toxin from the bacteria found in soil. Tetanus enters the body through skin leasions, punctures and scratches. This causes painful muscle spams like lockjaw, breathing issues and paralysis.

    Diphtheria - A disease that spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Diphtheria causes a thick mucus lining on the back of the throat and nose which leads to breathing and swallowing issues. It can also lead to heart failure and paralysis.

    Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - Pertussis, more commonly known as the whooping cough, is easily spread through coughing or sneezing and causes a gasping coughs and coughing fits. These symptoms can last for weeks causing school abesences and a long recovery time. Pertussis can be deadly if spread to a newborn infant without the DTaP vaccine.

  • Flu

    The flu vaccine should be administered each year prior to the start of flu season, which usually peaks between November and May. Since the flu vaccine takes a few weeks to reach full effectiveness, the ideal timing to receive the vaccine is in September or October. It is especially important for children who have asthma or other health concerns to receive the vaccine. The vaccine can also prevent children from spreading the flu to other family members who may be more vulnerable to infection due to pregnancy, age (very young or elderly), or other health conditions.