22 Aug August Immunization Awareness
One of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health is getting their child vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule. Whether parents have a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccination records.
Child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are prone to disease outbreaks. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs and sneezes and other factors related to interacting in crowded environments.
Serious health consequences can arise if children are not vaccinated. Without vaccines, children are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities. This includes spreading diseases to babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.
Additionally, states may require children who are entering child care or school to be vaccinated against certain diseases. Colleges and universities may have their own requirements, especially for students living in residence halls. Parents should check with their child’s doctor, school or the local health department to learn about vaccine requirements in their state or county.
Click the link below for the 2018 Immunization Schedules and Resources
Babies & Young Children
Vaccines give parents the power to protect their children from serious diseases. One of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health is getting their child vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule.
Vaccines protect babies from 14 diseases by the time they reach 2 years of age. It is very important that babies receive all doses of each vaccine and receive each vaccination on time. After 6 months of age, CDC recommends children receive a yearly flu vaccine. Children 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time should get two doses of flu vaccine, spaced at least 28 days apart. Children are also due for additional doses of vaccines between 4 and 6 years of age. If a child falls behind the recommended immunization schedule, the child’s doctor can still give vaccines to “catch up” the child before adolescence.
Child care facilities, preschool programs and schools are prone to disease outbreaks. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs and sneezes, and other factors related to interacting in crowded environments.
Unvaccinated children are not only at increased risk for disease, but they can also spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classroom, and communities – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people who might not be able to receive certain vaccines due to cancer or other health conditions.
Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child
National Immunization Awareness Month is a reminder children need vaccines right from the start.
You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all their vaccinations?
Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children are no longer common in the United States – primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio was once America’s most feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States.
Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are given to children only after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors and health care professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness or tenderness at the site of injection, but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.
Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the United States still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, there has been a resurgence of whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. For example, nearly 18,000 cases of whooping cough were reported in the United States in 2016.
Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia or other reasons. To help keep them safe and protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, it is important you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.
Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work and medical bills. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and is usually covered by insurance or the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families.
To find out more about the VFC program, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/index.html or ask your child’s health care professional.
Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. The risk of pregnant women becoming infected with rubella (German measles) and infecting their newborns has decreased substantially because most women and girls have been vaccinated, and birth defects associated with that virus are rare in the United States. If we continue vaccinating according to the recommended schedule, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children.
For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines.
Preteens & Teens
Keep up to date on your children’s vaccines. That’s one of the most important actions parents can take to ensure a healthy future for their kids. So what vaccines are needed as your children get older?
Preteens and teens need four vaccines to protect against serious diseases:
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningitis and bloodstream infections (septicemia).
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV.
- Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis).
- A yearly flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.
Teens and young adults may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. Parents can send their preteens and teens to middle school, high school and college protected from vaccine-preventable diseases by following the recommended immunization schedule.
All adults should get recommended vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become ill and pass diseases on to others. Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed by a health care professional. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person’s age, occupation or health conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or heart disease).
Vaccination is important because it protects the person getting the vaccine and helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those who are most vulnerable to serious complications (such as infants and young children, the elderly and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems).
All adults should get an influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Some people are at high risk of serious flu complications and it is especially important these people get vaccinated. This includes older adults (65 and older), children younger than 5, pregnant women and people with certain long-term medical conditions like asthma, heart disease and diabetes.
Every adult should get one dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) if they did not get Tdap as a teen, and then receive a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine every 10 years. Women should get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy, preferably during their third trimesters (between 27 through 36 weeks of their pregnancy).
Adults 50 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. Adults 65 and older are also recommended to receive both pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations.
Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV) depending on their age, occupation, travel, medical conditions, vaccinations they have already received or other considerations.