Vaccines, your children and family. By Dr. Genevieve Echeta
Vaccines, your children and family.
By Genevieve Echeta, PharmD, Rph., a contributing writer on health for USAfrica and CLASSmagazine
Summer is the best time to update your children’s vaccines and your adolescents in preparation for the coming school year.
Secondly, you can protect yourself and others from serious diseases by ensuring that
every member of your family is up-to-date on their vaccinations. This may be life-saving by indirectly protecting those too young to be vaccinated, the immune-compromised or the elderly.
It is important to note that vaccines have saved countless lives and count among the greatest medical achievements in the world.
Before vaccines, millions of children especially in third world countries like Nigeria, Mali, Zimbabwe, etc who contracted polio, pertusis, measles, haemophilus influenza type B, and pregnant woman infected with rubella would risk damage or death to the fetus.
The following is a list of commonly asked questions regarding infant and childhood
Do Vaccines cause autism?
This belief surfaced after publication of a now discredited 1998 study of 12 children linking
measles, mumps, rubella vaccination (MMR) with autism. The institute of Medicine (2004) and
National Vaccine Injury Compensation program (2009) rejected a “casual relationship” between MMR and autism. Numerous students have demonstrated that the thimerosal, a former preservative in vaccines, does not cause autism. The immune system is ready and able to respond to vaccine antigens following vaccine administration. Vaccines do not cause autism, immunize and protect your loved ones today!
Can Influenza vaccine make me or my child sick?
As with any vaccine, flu vaccine can cause some symptoms during the first 48-72 hours of vaccination.
This is mostly discomfort, redness or swelling at the injection site.
Can the flu vaccine give me or my child the flu?
No, the flu vaccines are either killed or weakened (attenuated) viruses and cannot produce the influenza illness.
Are there changes to the Texas immunization requirements for kindergarten enrollment? Yes. These changes were made since March 5, 2009 to ensure that Texas school requirements adhere more closely to the recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). As of August 1, 2009, these following vaccines are required:
1. 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine
2. 2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
3. 2 doses of varicella vaccine
Students entering the 7th grade will require the following:
1. 2 doses of varicella vaccine
2. 1 dose of Tdap vaccine
3. 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate (MCV4) vaccine
The following vaccines are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC for all adolescents:
1. HPV (3-dose series): for females 11-18 years of age, unless previously immunized with the
2. Influenza vaccine: all children 4 months to 18 years of age.
3. Hepatitis A: all adolescents and young adults not previously vaccinated should receive hepatitis A vaccine in Texas. Hepatitis A is mandated in southwestern counties for school entry through 3rd grade.
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