I know it's Valentine's Day, which should be a day full of hearts, chocolates, and sweets...but we're also in the midst of cold and flu season, so it's only right to be thinking about vaccines and immunizations too, right?
The American Academy of Pediatrics has released their new vaccine schedule, with a few minor (but still note-worthy) changes.
These changes include:
-- expanded protection for children and teens against Hepatitis B, pneumonia, and pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough).
-- an FDA-approved (as of February 2010) 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine that protects against 3 pneumococcal serotypes and also helps to prevent ear infections. The FDA found this change to be cost effective and also help to expand protection against pnemonia, which is a leading cause of infant mortality.
-- administering the meningococcal vaccine at the age of 11 or 12, as well as a booster at 16 or 17 to extend immunity.
-- administering the Pertusis vaccine at the age of 7-10 if vaccination status is unknown or never given, with the Tdap vaccine being administered between the ages of 13-18 if not previously administered. Boosters are also given every 10 years.
-- 2 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine given 4 weeks apart to 6-8 year olds who did not recieve the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.
-- HPV4 vaccine that is given to girls to protect against genital warts may be given in boys ages 9-18 in three doses.
For complete vaccine guidlines, visit the http://www.aap.org/immunization/izschedule.htmlAmaerican Academy of Pediatrics website.
And as a side note-- Happy Valentine's Day!