National Immunization Awareness Month

NIAW: Tdap Vaccine

Tdap Vaccine

What is whooping cough (pertussis)? Why do preteens and teens need to be protected from it?

Pertussis – also known as whooping cough – is an easily spread respiratory disease known for uncontrollable violent coughing that often makes it hard to breathe. Whooping cough can make teens ill with a serious cough that can last for weeks and be quite debilitating. While they are sick, people can easily spread the disease. In the United States, most vaccine-preventable diseases are rare, but this is not true with whooping cough. It still causes outbreaks.

Protection against whooping cough from the vaccine fades over time.

So at 11 or 12 years old, children need one dose of Tdap, even if they received all necessary whooping cough vaccines in early childhood. This dose provides a boost in immunity for whooping cough. CDC also recommends teens who have never received a dose of whooping cough receive Tdap.

How many cases of whooping cough were reported last year?

In 2016, more than 15,000 cases were provisionally reported in the United States.

 

Why are we seeing more whooping cough over the last 20 or so years?

There are several reasons that help explain why we’re seeing more reported cases of whooping cough lately. Studies have shown that the whooping cough vaccines we use now, while safer, do not protect for as long as the old type of whooping cough vaccines. This is known as waning immunity. We are also more aware of whooping cough, have better tests to diagnose it, and have better systems for reporting.

 CDC’s current estimate is that Tdap fully protects seven out of 10 preteens and teens who receive it against whooping cough, but that protection fades over time. Tdap fully protects about three or four out of 10 teens are from whooping cough four years after getting Tdap.

Adolescents who get Tdap and still get whooping cough have fewer coughing fits, are coughing for fewer days, and are less likely to suffer from disease complications.

Did You Know?

  • These 3 diseases are all caused by bacteria. Both diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds.
  • Before vaccines, each year the U.S. averaged around
    • 500-600 cases of tetanus;
    • 100,000—200,000 cases of diphtheria;
    • 175,000 cases of pertussis.

The Public Health offices can offer this vaccine for a reduced cost under the Wyoming Vaccinates Important People program. This vaccine is provided for only an administration fee for administering it. The vaccine itself is free and there is no office visit fee. If your child is entering the 7th grade this year, school immunization regulations require a Tdap booster. If your child has not had one yet, please call our offices at 885-9598 or 877-3780 to make an appointment. 

–All information on this page is taken from the CDC. 

National Immunization Awareness Week: All About HPV Vaccine

Why is HPV vaccine needed?

HPV vaccine prevents cancer. About 79 million Americans are infected with human papillomavirus, or HPV. Although most HPV infections will go away on their own, some HPV infections can lead to various types of cancer. HPV vaccine is safe, effective, and can protect people from infection with the types of HPV that can cause certain cancers.

 

How many types of HPV are there?

More than 40 HPV types can infect the genital areas of males and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. Most people who become infected with HPV do not know they have it.

 

How common are HPV infections?

HPV infections are so common that nearly all men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Most people never know that they have been infected and may give HPV to a sex partner without knowing it. About 79 million Americans are currently infected with some type of HPV. About 14 million people in the United States become newly infected each year.

 

What kinds of problems does HPV infection cause?

Most people with HPV never develop symptoms or health problems. Most HPV infections (9 out of 10) go away by themselves within two years. But, sometimes, HPV infections will last longer, and can cause certain cancers and other diseases. HPV infections can cause:

  • Cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva in women.
  • Cancers of the penis in men.
  • Cancers of the anus and back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (oropharynx), in both women and men. Every year in the United States, HPV causes 30,700 cancers in men and women.

 

HPV can also cause genital warts in men and women.

 

How many people get cancer from HPV?

Every year nearly 31,000 men and women are affected by cancers caused by HPV infections.

 

How many people get genital warts from HPV?

Before HPV vaccines were introduced, roughly 340,000 to 360,000 women and men were affected by genital warts caused by HPV every year.* Also, about one in 100 sexually active adults in the U.S. have genital warts at any given time.

 

*As these figures only look at the number of people who sought care for genital warts, this could be an underestimate of the actual number of people who get genital warts.

 

How do people get HPV?

People get HPV from another person during sexual activity. Most of the time people get HPV from having vaginal and/or anal sex. Men and women can also get HPV from having oral and other sex play. A person can get HPV even if their partner (straight or same-sex) doesn’t have any signs or symptoms of HPV infection. A person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sexual contact with an infected person. Most people do not realize they are infected. They also don’t know that they may be passing HPV to their sex partner(s). It is also possible for someone to get more than one type of HPV.

 

It’s not very common, but sometimes a pregnant woman with HPV can pass it to her baby during delivery. In these cases, the child can develop recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), a rare condition where warts caused by HPV (similar to genital warts) grow in the throat.

 

Who should get the HPV vaccine?

All girls and boys who are 11 or 12 years old should get the recommended series of HPV vaccine. The vaccination series can be started at age 9 years. Teen boys and girls who did not get vaccinated when they were younger should get it now. HPV vaccine is recommended for young women through age 26, and young men through age 21. HPV vaccine is also recommended for the following people, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger:

  • Young men who have sex with men, including young men who identify as gay or bisexual or who intend to have sex with men through age 26.
  • Young adults who are transgender through age 26.
  • Young adults with certain immunocompromising conditions (including HIV) through age 26.

 

Why is the vaccine recommended at age 11 or 12?

For HPV vaccine to be most effective, the series should be given prior to exposure to HPV. There is no reason to wait to vaccinate until teens reach puberty or start having sex. Preteens should receive all recommended doses of the HPV vaccine series long before they begin any type of sexual activity.

 

Is the vaccine still effective if you have had sexual intercourse?

Even if someone has already had sex, they should still get HPV vaccine. Although HPV infection can occur soon after someone starts having sex, a person might not be exposed to any or all of the HPV types that are in the vaccine. Males and females in the age groups recommended for vaccination are likely to get some protection from the vaccine.

 

Why are two doses recommended for 9–14 year olds, while older adolescents need three doses?

Since 2006, HPV vaccines have been recommended in a three-dose series given over six months. In 2016, CDC changed the recommendation to two doses for persons starting the series before their 15th birthday. The second dose of HPV vaccine should be given six to 12 months after the first dose. Adolescents who receive their two doses less than five months apart will require a third dose of HPV vaccine.

 

Teens and young adults who start the series at ages 15 through 26 years still need three doses of HPV vaccine Also, three doses are still recommended for people with certain immunocompromising conditions ages 9 through 26 years.

 

CDC makes recommendations based on the best available scientific evidence. Studies have shown that two doses of HPV vaccine given at least six months apart to adolescents at age 9 through 14 years worked as well or better than three doses given to older adolescents and young adults. Studies have not been done to show this for adolescents starting the series at age 15 years or older.

 

How well does HPV vaccine work?

HPV vaccination works extremely well. Clinical trials showed the vaccines provided close to 100% protection against precancers and, for Gardasil® and Gardasil 9®, genital warts. Since vaccination was first recommended in 2006, there has been a 64% reduction in vaccine type HPV infections among teen girls in the U.S., even with low HPV vaccination rates. Studies have shown that fewer teens are getting genital warts.

 

In other countries, such as Australia, where HPV vaccination coverage is higher than in the United States, large decreases have been observed in these HPV-associated outcomes. HPV vaccines offer long-lasting protection against HPV infection and HPV disease. There has been no evidence to suggest that HPV vaccine loses any ability to provide protection over time. Data are available for about 10 years of follow-up after vaccination.

 

How long will the HPV vaccine provide protection?

HPV vaccine offers long-lasting protection against HPV infection and cancers and other diseases caused by HPV infections. Protection produced by HPV vaccine remains high for at least eight to 10 years according to data from clinical trials and ongoing research. Evidence suggests that the protection provided by the HPV vaccine will continue beyond 10 years.

 

Will the vaccine require a booster?

In the U.S., the HPV vaccine series requires two shots for teens under 15 years old – one shot followed by the second shot six to 12 months later. Booster doses are not recommended. Like all vaccines, HPV vaccine is monitored continually to make sure it remains safe and effective. If protection from HPV vaccine doesn’t last as long as it should, then CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices would review the data and determine if a booster shot should be recommended.

 

Does someone have to restart the HPV vaccine series if too much time passes between the shots?

CDC recommends that all 11 or 12 year olds should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to 12 months apart. Adolescents who receive their two shots less than five months apart will require a third dose of HPV vaccine.

 

If your teen hasn’t gotten the vaccine yet, talk to their doctor or nurse about getting it for them as soon as possible. If your child is older than 14 years, three shots will need to be given over six months. Also, three doses are still recommended for people with certain immunocompromising conditions ages 9 through 26 years. If someone waits longer than that between shots, they do not need to restart the series. Even if has been months or years since the last shot, the series should still be completed.

 

Does HPV vaccination offer similar protection from cervical cancer in all racial/ethnic groups?

Yes. Several different HPV types cause cervical cancer. HPV vaccines are designed to prevent the HPV types that cause most cervical cancers, so HPV vaccination will provide high protection for all racial/ethnic groups.

All three licensed HPV vaccines protect against types 16 and 18, which cause the majority of cervical cancers across racial/ethnic groups (67% of the cervical cancers among whites, 68% among blacks, and 64% among Hispanics). The 9-valent HPV vaccine protects against seven HPV types that cause about 80% of cervical cancer among all racial/ethnic groups in the United States.

Teens and young adults who haven’t completed the HPV vaccine series should make an appointment today to get vaccinated. To protect against cervical cancer, women age 21 through 65 years should get screened for cervical cancer at regular intervals and get follow-up care as recommended by their doctor or nurse.

 

How do we know that the HPV vaccine is safe?

The United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. Years of testing are required by law to ensure the safety of vaccines before they are made available for use in the United States. This process can take 10 years or longer. Once a vaccine is in use, CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitor any associated side effects or possible side effects (adverse events) through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and other vaccine safety systems.

 

HPV vaccines went through years of extensive safety testing before they were licensed by FDA. Gardasil 9, the only HPV vaccine currently marketed in the U.S., was studied in more than 15,000 females and males prior to being licensed. No serious safety concerns were identified in these clinical trials. FDA only licenses a vaccine if it is safe, effective, and the benefits outweigh the risks. CDC and FDA continue to monitor HPV vaccines to make sure they are safe and beneficial for the public.

 

What are some possible side effects of HPV vaccination?

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Many people who get HPV vaccine have no side effects at all. Some people report having very mild side effects, like a sore arm from the shot. The most common side effects are usually mild. Common side effects of HPV vaccine include:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling in the arm where the shot was given.
  • Headache or feeling tired.
  • Muscle or joint pain.

 

Brief fainting spells and related symptoms (such as jerking movements) can happen after any medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes after a vaccination can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by falls.

 

On very rare occasions, severe (anaphylactic) allergic reactions may occur after vaccination. People with severe allergies to any component of a vaccine should not receive that vaccine.

 

Will the vaccine cause cancer?

HPV vaccine cannot cause HPV infection or cancer. HPV vaccine is made from one protein from the virus that cannot cause HPV infection or cancer. Not receiving HPV vaccine at the recommended ages can leave one vulnerable to cancers caused by HPV.

 

Will the vaccine cause fertility issues?

No. There are no data that suggest getting HPV vaccine will have an effect on future fertility. In fact, getting vaccinated and protecting against cervical cancer can help women have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

Not getting the HPV vaccine leaves people vulnerable to HPV infection; for women, this could lead to cervical cancer. The treatment of cervical cancer (hysterectomy, chemotherapy, and/or radiation, for example) could leave a woman unable to have children. Even the treatment of cervical precancers caused by HPV can cause preterm labor or problems at the time of delivery.

 

Why is this vaccine not mandatory for school entry?

Each state determines which vaccines will be required for school entry. Many factors are taken into consideration before requiring any vaccine for school entry, including: community support for the requirement, financial resources needed to implement the requirement, burden on school personnel for enforcing the requirement, vaccine supply, and current vaccination coverage levels.

HPV vaccine was first recommended for girls only, and many states did not want to implement a requirement that only applied to half the student population.

Health care providers do not need to wait to recommend and/or administer the HPV vaccine until there is a school requirement. Almost every state has a Tdap requirement for middle school entry. Providers should use this opportunity to administer HPV and quadrivalent meningococal conjugate vaccines.

 

How can someone get help paying for HPV vaccine?

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program helps families of eligible children who might not otherwise have access to vaccines. The program provides vaccines at no cost to children ages 18 years and younger who are uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, or American Indian/Alaska Native. The Public Health office can also offer this vaccine for a reduced cost to those whose insurances do not cover this vaccine (note: a high deductible does not meet the criteria of the VFC program). If your insurance does not offer coverage for this vaccine, you are considered underinsured and can be offered this vaccine for reduced cost. Please contact your insurance company to find out what your coverage for this vaccine might be.

–All information on this page is directly taken from the CDC. 

NIAW: Varicella and Hepatitis A

Varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox.

Children get two doses of the chickenpox vaccine for best protection. Children need one dose at each of the following ages: 12 through 15 months and 4 through 6 years.

  • Chickenpox spreads primarily by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters and possibly from infected respiratory droplets.
    • Symptoms: rash, itching, tiredness, headache, high fever.
    • Complications: infected blisters, bleeding problems, encephalitis (brain swelling due to infection), pneumonia (infection in the lungs).
    • People can die from chickenpox.

 

Hepatitis A vaccine protects against hepatitis A.

Doctors recommend children get two doses of the hepatitis A shot for best protection. Children need the first dose at 12 through 23 months and the second dose 6 to 18 months after the first.

  • Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.
    • Symptoms: Symptoms are more likely to occur in adults than in children, but not everyone has symptoms. If symptoms develop, there may be fever, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, joint pain, fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes), dark urine, or grey-colored stools.
    • Complications: liver failure and death, although rare and occurs more commonly in people older than 50 and people with other liver diseases.

NIAW: Hib, PCV13, IPV

Hib vaccine protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

Doctors recommend children get three or four doses of the Hib vaccine for best protection. Children need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months,

4 months, 6 months (for some brands), and 12 through 15 months.

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b is a bacterium that spreads through the air and direct contact with a person who has Hib.
    • Types of infection: The most common severe types of Hib disease are infections of the lungs (pneumonia), blood (bacteremia), and covering of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
    • Symptoms of pneumonia can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, or chills. Symptoms of bacteremia can include fever, chills, excessive tiredness, or pain in the belly. Symptoms of meningitis can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, or vomiting.
    • Complications: brain damage, hearing loss, loss of limbs, death.

 

PCV13 vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease.

CDC recommends children get four doses of the pneumococcal vaccine for best protection. Children need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12 through 15 months.

  • Pneumococcus is a bacterium spread through the air and direct contact with an infected person.
    • Types of infection: Pneumococcus bacteria can lead to infections of the lungs (pneumonia), lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), blood (bacteremia), ears, and sinuses.
    • Symptoms of pneumonia can include fever, chills, difficulty breathing, or chest pain. Symptoms of meningitis can include fever, headache, stiff neck, or confusion. Symptoms of bacteremia can include fever, chills, or low alertness. Symptoms of middle ear infections can include ear pain, a red, swollen ear drum, fever, or sleepiness. Symptoms of sinus infections can include headache, stuffy or runny nose, or facial pain or pressure.
    • Complications: brain damage, hearing loss, loss of limbs, death.

 

IPV vaccine protects against polio.

Children should get four doses of inactivated polio vaccine (also called IPV) for best protection. Children need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years.

  • Polio spreads through contact with the stool of an infected person and, though less common, through droplets from a sneeze or cough. If you get stool or droplets from an infected person on your hands and you touch your mouth, you can get infected. Also, if you put objects that have stool or droplets on them into your mouth, you can get infected.
    • Symptoms: Most people with poliovirus infection will not have visible symptoms. About 1 out of 4 people with poliovirus infection will have flu-like symptoms, such as sore throat, fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, and stomach pain. A smaller proportion of people with poliovirus infection will develop other more serious symptoms, such as paralysis which can lead to permanent disability and death.

The Public Health offices in Afton and Kemmerer carry all approved and recommended childhood vaccinations. We can these for reduced cost under the Wyoming Vaccinates Important People state immunization program. We can administer these shots for the reduced fee of $20 with no office visit charge. The vaccine cost itself is free. If you cannot pay the $20 per shot fee, that price can be reduced or even waived entirely if necessary. We do not turn away anyone due to inability to pay. We accept Wyoming Medicaid and most health insurances. The only insurance company that does not accept our claims is Tricare. Please call us at 885-9598 or 877-3780 to schedule an appointment for any shots your child might need.

–All information is from the CDC

NIAW: Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Dtap

Hep B vaccine protects against hepatitis B.

Doctors recommend children get three doses of the hepatitis B shot for best protection. Typically, children need one dose at each of the following ages: birth, 1 through 2 months, and 6 through 18 months.

  • Hepatitis B is spread by contact with bodily fluids from an infected person; for example, hepatitis B can be passed from an infected mother to her baby at birth.
    • Symptoms: There may be no symptoms, or there may be fever, headache, weakness, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), or joint pain.
    • Complications: liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer.

 

RV vaccine protects against rotavirus.

Two brands of rotavirus vaccines are available to protect infants against rotavirus: Rotarix (given in two doses) and RotaTeq (given in three doses). Rotavirus vaccine is given by putting some drops in an infant’s mouth. Infants should get rotavirus vaccine starting at 2 months of age. For both vaccine brands, infants should get a second dose at 4 months. If getting RotaTeq, infants need a third dose at 6 months.

 

  • Rotavirus spreads easily among infants and young children.
    • The virus can be found in the stool (feces) of people who are infected with the virus. It can spread when a child puts something with rotavirus on it, such as their hand or a toy, in their mouth. Children can also get infected by consuming food and liquids that have been contaminated with rotavirus.
    • Symptoms: severe watery diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. This can lead to dehydration and require hospitalization.

 

DTaP vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough).

Doctors recommend children get five doses of the DTaP vaccine for best protection. Children need one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years. If a child falls behind schedule on this vaccine series, he or she will receive the Tdap vaccine if he or she is older than 6 years old when completing the series. DTaP is not licensed for children over 6 years of age. Tdap provides protection against the same diseases as DTaP.

  • Diphtheria spreads through the air and direct contact with an infected person.
    • Symptoms: sore throat, fever, weakness, sore glands in neck.
    • Complications: swelling of the heart muscle, heart failure, coma, paralysis, death.
  • Tetanus spreads from exposure through cuts in the skin.
    • Symptoms: stiffness in jaw, neck and abdominal muscles, difficulty swallowing, muscle spasms, fever.
    • Complications: broken bones, breathing difficulty, death.
  • Whooping cough spreads through the air and direct contact with a person who has whooping cough.
    • Symptoms: severe cough, low-grade fever, runny nose, apnea (pause in breathing) in babies.
    • Complications: pneumonia (infection in the lungs), rib fractures, death.

The Public Health offices in Afton and Kemmerer carry all approved and recommended childhood vaccinations. We can these for reduced cost under the Wyoming Vaccinates Important People state immunization program. We can administer these shots for the reduced fee of $20 per shot with no office visit charge. The vaccine cost itself is free. If you cannot pay the $20 per shot fee, that price can be reduced or even waived entirely if necessary. We do not turn away anyone due to inability to pay. We accept Wyoming Medicaid and most health insurances. The only insurance company that does not accept our claims is Tricare. Please call us at 885-9598 or 877-3780 to schedule an appointment for any shots your child might need.

–All information on this page is taken from the CDC

NIAW: About Measles

About Measles

Measles is a serious respiratory disease caused by a virus.

  • Measles starts with a fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out.
  • The rash starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. The rash can last for a week.

 

Measles is highly contagious.

  • Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.
  • You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left.
  • An infected person can spread measles to others even before he or she develops symptoms – from four days before they develop the measles rash to four days afterward.

 

Measles can cause serious health complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis, and death.

  • Some people are at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles, including children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 20 years of age, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
  • Ear infections occur in about one out of every 10 children with measles and can result in permanent hearing loss.
  • As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
  • About one child out of every 1,000 who gets measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability.
  • For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die of the disease.

 

Measles cases continue to be brought into the United States by people who get infected while in other countries.

  • Since 2000, when measles was declared eliminated from the U.S., the annual number of people reported to have measles ranged from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 667 people in 2014.
  • The majority of measles cases brought into the United States are among U.S. residents, and when vaccination status is known, almost all are unvaccinated.
  • Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease, especially when traveling abroad.

 

The best protection against measles is MMR vaccine.

  • MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. Make sure you’re up to date on MMR and other vaccinations.
  • Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine – the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Giving the second dose of the vaccine earlier is allowed at any time as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
  • Unless they have evidence of measles immunity, college and other students, health care personnel, and international travelers need two appropriately spaced doses. Other adults need one dose. Ask your health care provider if you have questions about whether you need MMR vaccine.
  • People who received two doses of MMR vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule are considered protected for life.
  • For those who travel internationally, CDC recommends all U.S. residents older than 6 months be protected from measles and receive MMR vaccine, if needed, prior to departure.

 

The MMR vaccine has a long record of safety.

  • FDA and CDC continually monitor MMR vaccine
  • While MMR vaccines are safe, side effects can The most common side effects are mild (redness, swelling, tenderness from the shot). Serious side effects are extremely rare.

The Public Health offices in Afton and Kemmerer carry all approved and recommended childhood vaccinations. We can these for reduced cost under the Wyoming Vaccinates Important People state immunization program. We can administer these shots for the reduced fee of $20 with no office visit charge. The vaccine cost itself is free. If you cannot pay the $20 per shot fee, that price can be reduced or even waived entirely if necessary. We do not turn away anyone due to inability to pay. We accept Wyoming Medicaid and most health insurances. The only insurance company that does not accept our claims is Tricare. Please call us at 885-9598 or 877-3780 to schedule an appointment for any shots your child might need.

–All information is taken from the CDC 

NIAW: Week Two

Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious diseases before they turn 2 years old.

  • Vaccinating your children according to the recommended schedule is one of the best ways you can protect them from 14 harmful and potentially deadly diseases like measles and whooping cough (pertussis) before their second birthday.
  • Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of (1) getting the disease or illness and (2) having a severe case of the disease or illness. You can’t predict or know in advance if an unvaccinated child will get a vaccine-preventable disease, nor can you predict or know how severe the illness will be or become.
  • Vaccines don’t just protect your child. Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, health care professionals and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community – especially babies who are too young to be vaccinated themselves.

 

Most parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines and vaccinate their children according to the recommended immunization schedule.

  • Estimates from a CDC nationally representative childhood vaccine communications poll (August 2016 online poll) suggest that almost 9 out of 10 people vaccinate according to schedule or are intending to do so.

 

It’s easy to think of these as diseases of the past. Most young parents in the United States have never seen the devastating effects that diseases like measles or whooping cough can have on a family or community. But the truth is they still exist.

  • Many vaccine-preventable diseases are still common in many parts of the world. For example, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers who are infected while in other countries. When measles gets into communities of unvaccinated people in the United States (such as people who refuse vaccines for religious, philosophical or personal reasons), outbreaks are more likely to occur.
    • The 2015 measles outbreak and the current measles outbreak in Minnesota are examples of how quickly infectious diseases can spread when they reach groups of people who aren’t vaccinated.
    • Since measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, the annual number of people reported to have measles ranged from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 667 people from 27 states in 2014. From January 1 to May 20 2017, 100 people from 11 states were reported to have measles.
  • Outbreaks of whooping cough have also occurred in the United States over the past few years. There are many factors contributing to the recent increase in whooping cough, but getting vaccinated is the best way to help prevent whooping cough and its complications.

 

Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives. Following the recommended schedule offers the best protection.

  • Vaccines offer the best protection against many devastating illnesses. Following the recommended immunization schedule is the best way to ensure your children are protected from deadly diseases.
  • Some vaccines require multiple doses to build enough immunity to prevent disease, boost immunity that has faded over time, ensure people who did not get immunity from a first dose are protected, or protect against diseases, like the flu, which can change from one season to the next.
  • Children do not receive any known benefits from following schedules that delay vaccines. We do know that delaying vaccines puts children at known risk of becoming ill with vaccine-preventable diseases. Infants and young children who follow immunization schedules that spread out shots – or leave out shots – are at risk of developing diseases during the time that shots are delayed.
  • If a young child falls behind the recommended schedule, parents and health care professionals should use the catch-up immunization schedule to quickly get the child up to date, reducing the amount of time the child is left vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.

NIAW: College Kids Need Vaccines too

What immunizations does my college age child need for school?

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) helps protect against bacterial meningitis and may be required for certain college students (requirements vary by state).

  • First-year college students living in residence halls are recommended to be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine. If they received this vaccine before their 16th birthday, they should get a booster dose before going to college for maximum protection.
  • The risk for meningococcal disease among non-first-year college students is similar to that for the general population. However, MenACWY is safe and effective and therefore can be provided to non-first-year college students.

 

Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, or whooping cough.

  • A single dose of Tdap is routinely recommended for preteens and teens (preferably at age 11-12 years); however, adults 19 or older who did not receive Tdap as a preteen or teen should receive a single dose of Tdap.

 

HPV vaccination is recommended for teens and young adults who did not start or finish the HPV vaccine series at age 11 or 12 years.

  • Young women under age 27 and young men under age 22 should be vaccinated.
  • Young men between the ages of 22 and 27 may be vaccinated and should discuss this with their doctor or nurse. Young men between the ages of 22 and 27 who have compromised immune systems or have sex with other men should also be vaccinated.
  • Even if it has been many years since a first or second dose of HPV vaccine, young adults should still complete the HPV vaccination series. The HPV vaccine series does not need to be restarted if there is a long gap in between doses.

 

Seasonal flu vaccine protects against the three or four flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

  • The flu can cause severe illness that may require hospital care, even in healthy adults
  • In general, the flu vaccine works best among young healthy adults and older children.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.

National Immunization Awareness: Back to School!

Vaccinating according to the recommended immunization schedule provides your child with safe and effective protection against preventable diseases.

  • Between the time your child is born and when they go off to college, they’ll get vaccines to protect against a number of serious diseases.
  • Some children at your child care center may be too young to get certain vaccines, and are therefore vulnerable to diseases.
    • By vaccinating your child according to the recommended schedule, you’ll be protecting their classmates as well.
    • You will also be helping to protect people in your community who cannot receive vaccines for medical reasons (e.g., people with weakened immune systems, such as some people with cancer and people who have received transplants).Vaccines are recommended for children of all ages.
      • The need for vaccination does not end in childhood. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, travel locations, medical conditions, and previous vaccination history.
      • The protection from some childhood vaccines wear off with time, and children are more likely to get certain diseases like meningococcal disease and cancer-causing HPV infections as they get older. Staying up to date on recommended vaccines keeps your child protected against serious diseases.
      • Teens and young adults should also make sure they are up to date on all the vaccines recommended during childhood and adolescence. Additionally, states may require children who are entering college to be vaccinated against certain diseases.
      • You can send your kids off to college protected from serious diseases by making sure they’ve received all the vaccines recommended for them.

      Infectious diseases tend to spread wherever large groups of people gather together. Outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease have been reported from college campuses during the last several years.Many vaccine-preventable diseases can easily spread in child care and school settings. Protecting your children from preventable diseases will help keep them healthy and in school.

      • Schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases, and school-age children can further spread disease to their families and others with whom they come in contact.
      • When a child comes down with an illness such as whooping cough, chickenpox or the flu, he or she may miss at least several days of school while recovering – and somebody will need to stay home to provide care and make trips to the doctor.
        • Children can spread diseases to newborns too young to have received all doses of recommended vaccines, or to people with weakened immune systems, such as some people with cancer and transplant recipients who are also at higher risk of disease.
      • Most people in the United States are protected against measles through vaccination, so measles cases in the U.S. are uncommon compared to the number of cases that occurred before a vaccine was available.
        • However, measles is brought into the United States every year by unvaccinated travelers who get measles while they are in other countries. Most measles cases imported into the U.S. come from U.S. residents. They can spread measles to other people who are not protected against measles, which sometimes leads to outbreaks. This can occur in communities with unvaccinated people.
        • Since measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, the annual number of people reported to have measles ranged from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 667 people in 2014. In 2016, there were 70 provisionally reported cases.

–All information taken from the CDC

NIAW: Meningitis Vaccine

Meningococcal Vaccines

Why does my preteen or teen need to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease can be devastating and often—and unexpectedly—strikes otherwise healthy people. Although meningococcal disease is uncommon, teens and young adults 16 through 23 years old are at increased risk for getting sick. Meningococcal bacteria can cause severe disease, including infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and blood (septicemia). Meningococcal disease can result in permanent disabilities, like hearing loss, learning disabilities, loss of limbs, and sometimes even death.

 

Is there one meningococcal vaccine that can help protect my child from all common types of meningococcal disease?

No. There are vaccines to protect against the three most common serogroups (B, C, and Y) of meningococcal disease in the United States. Some meningococcal vaccines for preteens and teens are designed to protect against four serogroups (A, C, W, and Y), while others help protect against one serogroup (B). There is not a meningococcal vaccine that offers protection against all common serogroups in one shot.

 

CDC recommends all 11 to 12 year olds should receive a single dose of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine (protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y). Since protection decreases over time, a booster dose is recommended at age 16 so teens continue to have protection during the ages when they are at highest risk of meningococcal disease. Teens and young adults (16 through 23 year olds) may also receive a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years old. Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines require more than one dose for maximum protection.

Talk with your teen’s clinician about meningococcal vaccination to help protect your child’s health.

 

Meningococcal Disease Causes Serious Infections

Meningococcal disease refers to any illness caused by Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. The most common illnesses are infections of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream infections (septicemia).

Symptoms of Meningococcal Disease Can Appear Quickly

Symptoms of meningococcal meningitis may include sudden onset of a high fever, headache, or stiff neck. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, and confusion. Symptoms of meningococcal septicemia include fever, tiredness (fatigue), vomiting, and a dark purple rash. If you think you or your child has any of these symptoms, call the doctor right away.

Early Diagnosis and Treatment Are Very Important

Doctors treat meningococcal disease with antibiotics (medicines that kill bacteria in the body). However, even with antibiotic treatment, 10 to 15 out of 100 people with meningococcal disease will die. About 11 to 19 out of every 100 survivors will have long-term disabilities. These disabilities can include loss of limb(s), deafness, nervous system problems, or brain damage.

Meningococcal Disease Spreads from Person to Person

People spread the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease to others by sharing respiratory and throat secretions (such as saliva or spit). Even people who are not sick can have the bacteria in their noses and throats and spread the bacteria. Generally, it takes close (for example, coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact to spread these bacteria. Fortunately, they are not as contagious as germs that cause the common cold or flu. People do not catch them through casual contact or by breathing air where someone with meningococcal disease has been.

Outbreaks of Meningococcal Disease Are Rare

Only about 2 or 3 out of 100 meningococcal disease cases occur as part of an outbreak. However, outbreaks are unpredictable and the outcomes can be devastating to affected communities and organizations. Meningococcal outbreaks can occur in communities, schools, colleges, prisons, and other populations.

Can my child receive a meningococcal conjugate vaccine and a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine at the same time?

Yes. Your child can receive meningococcal conjugate and serogroup B meningococcal vaccines during the same visit, but preferably in different arms. CDC does not recommend serogroup B meningococcal vaccine until age 16 years, so it’s possible your child will get this vaccine and the booster dose of a meningococcal conjugate vaccine at the same visit.

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program provides vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. A child is eligible for the program if they are younger than 19 years of age and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Medicaid-eligible
  • Uninsured
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Underinsured (have health insurance that does not cover vaccines or does not cover certain vaccines)

The Public Health offices do carry this vaccine for a reduced cost if you meet the above criteria.

–All information on this page is taken from the CDC.