Making heads or tail of the immunization alphabet; be your child’s best advocate.
Last month, Pediatrics, the Official Journal of the AAP, published new recommendations from for childhood and adolescent immunization schedules in 2011, approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
With new recommendations including Prevnar 13, MC4V, Tdap, Td, Hib and the HPV4 (either the Gardasil or Cervarix). Of course, always recommended are two doses of the flu vaccine.
* Prevnar 13 booster of the varicella shot for chicken pox.
* Td is the tetanus which should be administered at least every 7 years but the intervals and combination with other vaccines has been reevaluted.
* Tdap, a.k.a. pertussis, a.k.a. whooping cough vaccine revised recommendations are a direct response to national outbreaks of whooping cough.
* A booster of MC4V, referring to the meningococcal vaccine, is recommended for adolescents to prevent meningitis.
* HPV4 refers to the human papilloma virus and is given not only to girls but also is recommended for boys ages 9 – 18 to stave off the likelihood of acquiring genital warts. I shudder at thought
* A third dose HepB, hepatitis B is recommended for toddlers who did not receive the first dose at birth.
* PCV and the PPSV, not the plastic pipes under your kitchen sink, are recommended to prevent pneumococcular disease, otherwise known as pneumonia or sepsis caused by bacterial infections.
* The TIV or the LAIV, influenza vaccines, the difference between the two being whether or not your child is being injected with the live virus or not.
What does this vegetable soup mean to parents? While many blindly follow the recommendations of their doctor, trusting in the infinite wisdom of pediatricians, there is still some debate over whether or not immunizations are at all necessary. Is this just more fear mongering from a medical model industry that wants to push even more drugs on our children or is this truly looking out for their best interests?