Did you check the boxes on these 4 important shots for your children?
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion suggests one of the most important things parents can do for their children and teenagers is to get them vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule.
Schools and colleges are prone to disease outbreaks. “Children and teenagers in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand-washing, not covering their coughs and sneezes and interacting in crowded environments,” says Dr. Samantha Lowe, Pediatrician at White Plains Hospital Medical and Wellness in Armonk. “Without vaccines, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread illness in their classrooms and communities – especially concerning for people with weakened immune systems.”
For preteens and teens, four vaccines are needed to protect against serious diseases:
Meningococcal conjugate. Protects against meningitis and bloodstream infections (septicemia). Preteens and teens need two doses – the first when they are 11 or 12 and a second dose at age 16.
There are two types of Meningococcal vaccines. Discuss with your healthcare provider whether your child needs one or both.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus). To protect against cancers caused by HPV. A series of two doses usually begins when your child is 11 or 12.
Tdap. Defends against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis). The first dose is needed at age 11 or 12, with a booster every ten years.
Flu. To protect against seasonal influenza virus. People of all ages should get this shot every year in the fall.