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Get Kids Vaccinated Over the Summer
07/17/2018

TGrauman2018.jpghanks to immunizations, there are a number of diseases you hardly ever hear about any more. Smallpox, for instance, has been mostly eradicated by vaccines. Polio is rarely even mentioned these days.

“Over the years, vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives,” said Dr. Sarah Grauman, Fremont Health Family Care physician. “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.”

Many parents think that kids are done with vaccinations before they are adolescents. However, there are vaccines that preteens and teens should get to stay healthy, and most states require certain vaccinations before school starts again in the fall. 

Immunization Schedule: Birth through 6 Years
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Immunization Schedule: Preteens and Teens

While your kids should get a flu vaccine every year, there are three other vaccines for preteens that should be given when kids are 11- 12 years old. All of these vaccines are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The vaccines for preteens and teens are:

  • HPV vaccine for both boys and girls, protects against the types of HPV that can cause cancer. HPV, short for Human papillomavirus, affects over 79 million people in the US and can cause several types of cancers and genital warts. The HPV vaccine is safe and effective.
  • Tdap vaccine, protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Pertussis, or whooping cough, can keep kids out of school and activities for weeks. It can also be spread to babies; pertussis is especially serious and sometimes deadly for young children.
  • Meningococcal vaccine, protects against meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria and is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis—a serious infection around the brain and spinal cord.
  • Influenza (flu) vaccine, because even healthy kids can get the flu, and it can be serious. All kids, including your preteens and teens, should get the flu vaccine every year.

“Keeping your children up to date with vaccinations is the best way to protect your community and schools from outbreaks that cause unnecessary illnesses and deaths,” said Dr. Grauman. “Getting every recommended dose of every vaccine provides children the best protection possible.”

There are several opportunities when you can make sure your child gets the vaccines he or she needs—at any healthcare visit, including ones for sports or camp physicals.

To learn more about the vaccines for preteens and teens visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/teens

Dr. Sarah Grauman sees patients of all ages at Fremont Health Family Care in Fremont and Lake Wanahoo Medical Clinic in Wahoo. Appointments can be made by calling (402) 727-1091.