Polio, measles, whooping cough, tetanus. These diseases are rare these days. That’s because many diseases that were once feared are now preventable. Vaccinating not only protects your child, but other children, those with compromised immune systems, and educators, as well the community at large from contracting a disease.
At what age should one receive certain vaccinations? When are they most effective and important to ensure good health? The Centers for Disease Control has issued guidelines as to when to be vaccinated. Here are some of the basic recommendations made by the CDC. (Note that everyone is different, so you should always check with your doctor for the exact recommended schedule for each vaccine.)
Children up to seven years old
Be sure to check with your state’s policies regarding vaccinations to make sure your child meets all criteria for daycare, as well as entry into kindergarten. Your pedestrian will likely provide the following vaccines for your child. Some of these vaccines require more than one delivery over the course of time; and some may not be administered in combination with others.
- Chickenpox or varicella (VAR)
- Flu (Influenza)
- Hepatitis B (Hep B)
- Hepatitis A (Hep A)
- Haemophilus influenza (Hib)
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Inactivated polio (IPV)
- Rotavirus (RV)
School-aged children seven years of age
There are many complex scheduling, age, and other guidelines for these vaccines, so make sure to check with your doctor about scheduling immunizations. Some children have conditions that may warrant earlier vaccination, or a delay in vaccination. To start, your school-aged child should receive, in addition to being current on the previous list –
· Human papillomavirus (HPV)
· Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) (Tdap)
Note that many universities and sleep-away camps mandate getting the vaccine for meningitis, as well.
Adults and seniors should always get an influenza vaccine if their doctor recommends it. They may also benefit from:
o Pneumococcal vaccine (PCV)
o Zoster vaccine (RZV)
If you are going to be around children and have not yet had chicken pox, talk to your doctor about getting the Chickenpox or varicella (VAR) right away.
Those traveling overseas, especially those traveling to exotic locations or going on a mission trip to an underdeveloped nation, should talk to their doctor, as well as consult the State Department Website for which vaccines they might need. At a minimum, these vaccines should be up to date:
· Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
· Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (Tdap)
· Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
· Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)
· Yearly flu shot
Peace Corps and military volunteers may be required to receive or be up to date on hepatitis A and B, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, influenza, meningitis, diphtheria and tetanus, polio, and mumps, measles, malaria, and/or rubella.
Healthcare and Public Safety Workers
Healthcare and public safety workers usually must show proof of prior vaccination. If applicants for these positions have no official record of immunization, they may be required to have all immunizations administered before starting on the job.
Immigrants to the US
Panel physicians who conduct medical examinations of immigrant visa applicants are required to verify that immigrant visa applicants have met the vaccination requirements, or that it is medically inappropriate for the visa applicant to receive one or more of the listed vaccinations:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza type b (Hib)
- Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
Considerations about vaccinations
The debate continues: to vax or not to vax. The truth is, vaccines are very safe and effective in preventing disease. For some people, though, vaccination is not an option. People with illnesses that lower the immune system, those with religious objections, or who take certain medications that lower immunity may not be able (or opt not) to get vaccinated. They remain vulnerable to contagious diseases, so for these and other reasons, it is very important to get vaccinated yourself and to make sure that your children receive the vaccines they need, on schedule.
Did you know that you can receive all your vaccines at an Urgent Care clinic? Come to see us at Patient Care Now Urgent Care in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. We are happy to forward vaccination documentation to your primary care physician, school or employer. We are open from 8 am – 8 pm, seven days a week. Owned and operated by board-certified emergency medicine providers, we pride ourselves in providing a seamless medical experience to our patients. Call us at (267) 202-6433 for all your urgent care needs, or use our online check-in form.