I know that many people have their own opinions on vaccines. As a healthcare provider, I follow discussion on vaccine safety carefully and scientifically. For my family, I choose to follow the CDC guidelines for vaccines. I would encourage others to do so as well.
Here are the ones I suggest all children have before entering school:
Hep A and Hep B. Protects against viruses that can cause liver dysfunction, liver failure, and liver cancer. Hepatitis A is transmitted through improperly handled food while Hepatitis B is generally through sexual intercourse.
DTaP – Diptheria, Tetnus, Pertussis – All of these are deadly, diphtheria can cause heart damage and pertussis can cause pneumonia. There have been an increasingly higher number of pertussis cases across the county in the last few years. This can be extremely serious for infants who have not yet finished their vaccine series. Adults are encouraged to get a similar vaccine TDaP as well.
Hib – Protects against a virus that can cause meningitis, intellectual defects, and death
Pneumoccoal – Protects against lung infection and meningitis caused by bacteria. Especially important for those with asthma or other lung disease including adults.
Polio – Protects against polio virus which can cause paralysis and death
MMR – Protects against measles, mumps, and rubella – All cause rash, possible brain swelling. Rubella can also affect pregnant moms and cause miscarriage or birth defects
Varicella – Protects against the chicken pox. Yes we all had it as a kid, but it also can lead to deadly secondary infections.
Influenza – This is yearly folks. Yes we know that the viruses mutate, but some protection is better than no protection. The flu is nothing to play around with. Again it can be deadly, especially for little ones. Check out information on this years flu vaccine here.
FOR YOUR TEEANGERS
Meningitis – Those at ages 16-23 are at higher risk of contracting this deadly disease, the vaccine lasts about 5 years so if they get it early (11-12) then they’ll need a booster.
HPV – Can be given as young as 11-12. I know this is a controversial one and parents don’t want to imagine their children are sexually active or curious. However, the virus, again is known to cause cervical cancer. Having lost a dear friend to this cancer, it is nothing I would want to risk. Get them the vaccine and talk to them about responsibility in case another parent chooses not to.
Ultimately, it is every parents decision on how to handler their children’s health. I would encourage you to do your own research, use my tips from the first Back to School post to increase your overall health, and live your own balanced YingYang Life!