Immunizations

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The development of vaccines has been one of the greatest public health triumphs in the past sixty years.  Despite this, it is easy to find articles and blogs that attempt to point out the alleged dangers of immunization.

While these individuals may be well intentioned, they are performing a disservice to all children.

We believe that parents should make the final decision regarding immunizations, but these decisions should be based upon facts and not fear mongering.

A brief period of research on the internet does not outweigh decades of professional work conducted by experts in the field.

Dtap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis)

This vaccine is administered five times prior to entry into kindergarten beginning at age 2 months. The acellular preparation now in use has dramatically decreased any risk from this vaccine.  Tdap booster is administered at age eleven years.

The common side effects to be aware of include fever, irritability, and swelling at the injection site.  These reactions may occur later on the day of immunization and on the day following, and generally respond well to acetaminophen.

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV-13, Prevnar)

The pneumococcus is an invasive bacteria that is now the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in this country.  Children under the age of two are particularly susceptible to blood-borne infection and meningitis due to this organism.  The thirteen pneumococcal vaccine protects against the thirteen most common strains of this bacteria and is recommended for children under the age of two years.  Side effects are mild and mainly consist of local reaction at the injection site and fever.

Polio

We currently administer the IPV, the inactive injectioned preparation. Four doses are administered by the time your child enters kindergarten, beginning at 2 months of age.

HIB (Haemophilus Influenzae B)

Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) is a bacteria that formerly was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in childhood.  In addition, this invasive bacteria causes pneumonia, sepsis, osteomyelitis, and septic arthritis.  The vaccine has dramatically reduced the incidence of these infections.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral disease that can cause serious acute and chronic infections of the liver.  The virus is spread through contact with blood or body fluids of an infected individual.  The vaccine that was developed was the first “genetically engineered” immunization, based on recombinant DNA technology.

Measles, Mumps Rubella (MMR)

This immunization is given after 12 months of age, with a booster at age 4-5 years.  The vaccine may cause fever and/or rash, 7-10 days following administration.  An immunized child does not pose a threat to pregnant women.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

The varicella vaccine licensed in the United States in 1995 has had extensive use over a far longer period in Japan.  It provides complete protection from the disease in 70-90% of children.  Should a child who was immunized get varicella, it is usually very mild.  There is a low incidence of fever and rash following administration.  The immunization is given at after 12 months of age with a booster at age 4-5 years.

Meningococcal Vaccine (Menactra)

Meningococcus is an organism that is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in teenagers and young adults.  It is recommended that this vaccine be administered at 11-12 years of age and a booster after age sixteen.

Influenza Vaccine

The seasonal flu vaccine is now recommended for all children six months of age and older.  Children in the 6-36 month age group are considered at high risks of complications of influenza.  Other high risk groups include those children with cardiac disease, pulmonary disease (asthma), diabetes, immunosuppression, and other chronic illnesses.  A new, different vaccine is administered annually.

Rotavirus

Rotavirus is a virus that can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting. It is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in the United States and can result in severe dehydration.  There is an oral vaccine that is extremely effective against rotavirus disease.  It has been in use since 2006 and is administered beginning at 2 months of age.    Rotavirus affects mostly infants and children less than 5 years of age and is easily spread from contact with contaminated hands or objects (fecal-oral transmission).