Preventing disease is the greatest accomplishment of modern medical care. Pediatricians have always been the most active practitioners in this area. VACCINATING YOUR CHILD PROMPTLY IS THE SINGLE BEST THING THAT A PARENT CAN DO TO INSURE THEIR CHILD'S GOOD HEALTH!
If you have questions about the risks and benefits of vaccines, contact us.
Next: what do all those initials mean?
DTaP is a combination against Diphtheria, Tetanus (Lockjaw) and Pertussis (Whooping Cough). Diphtheria is a horrendous disease that we no longer see, of the upper respiratory passages and can include heart inflammation and injury to the nervous system. Death is a possible outcome.
Gardasil is a vaccine that protects against strains of HPV, Human Papillomavirus. Forty strains of HPV are spread by sexual contact. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, with 20 million people infected in the United States and six million new infections occurring per year. Four of these strains cause the majority of genital warts and cancers of the throat, cervix, vagina, vulva, penis and anus. Vaccination can protect against infections from those strains, and is recommended for boys and girls at age eleven, well before they begin to be sexually active, since vaccines do not prevent diseases due to strains that have already been acquired. Vaccination can prevent 8,000 cases of cervical cancer and 4,000 cases of anal cancer per year alone.
Hepatitis is a disease spread by blood and sexual contact. Pediatricians give this protection in infancy as a public health policy to provide protection against this disease as early in life as possible. People who get Hepatitis B are infected for life and run the risk of cancer and chronic liver disease. The risk of death for disease acquired in early childhood is 25%.
HIB stands for Hemophilus Influenza type B. It is a serious invasive disease which can cause otitis media, sinusitis, pneumonia and meningitis. It was the leading cause of meningitis related brain damage and mental retardation before the vaccine was used. At that time upwards of 500 children a year suffered mental retardation as a result of this disease each year in New York State alone.
IPV is Polio vaccine made from dead polio virus which is injected. There is NO risk of acquiring Polio from this vaccine. Its use has replaced the oral vaccine which was live and carried a rare possibility of causing disease.
Pertussis is a disease that can become severe with a characteristic whooping type of cough which leaves the child exhausted. The cough can last for as long as ten weeks. Complications include seizure, pneumonia, encephalopathy and death.
Prevnar is a vaccine against many types of pneumoccal bacteria which cause infections of the upper respiratory tract and lungs. Pneumoccus is the most frequent cause of middle ear infections. It is also responsible for sinusitis, pneumonia and meningitis in infants and young children. Pneumoccus is very often resistant to antibiotic therapy.
Tetanus is a neurologic disease which causes severe muscle spasms and the inability to open the mouth due to an extreme spasm of the jaw muscles. Onset is gradual over a week and the disease subsides in a period of weeks for those who survive. Newborns often contract this disease through contamination of the umbilicus, in developing countries. This is rare in the United States due to the success of the vaccination program.
Menactra: Neisseria Meningitidis is one of many bacteria that can cause life threatening sepsis (infection in the blood) and meningitis (infection of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord). If a child becomes infected with this bacteria and is not treated immediately, death can rapidly ensue. There are two peaks of this diseas: infants less than one year old and teenagers 15-18 years old. In the teenage group there is a 20% mortality rate with this disease.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends routine vaccination with Menactra starting at the age of 11 years old and before entry into college. This is a very effective vaccine and highly recommended. Possible side effects of the vaccine include localized pain, headache and fatigue for about 1-2 days after the shot. Boosters may be needed about every five years.
MMR Measles, Mumps and Rubella all three are still around and troublesome.
Measles is an acute illness with temperature over 101 degrees, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis and a red blotchy rash. Complications include otitis media, pneumonia, laryngotracheitis and diarrhea, especially in young children. Acute encephalitis which frequently causes permanent brain damage, occurs in one of every thousand cases. Death due to respiratory and neurologic complications occurs in one to three of every one thousand cases reported in the United States.
Mumps: this disease causes swelling of the parotid salivary glands located at the angle of the jaw in front of the ears. One third of cases do not have this swelling. Complications are rare. However, after puberty this disease can cause swelling of the testicles. Sterility is rare though.
Rubella: the danger of this otherwise mild disease is to the fetus of pregnant women who contract the disease in the first three months of their pregnancy. Complications include cataracts, damaged retina, congenital glaucoma, heart defects, damage to the auditory nerve, inflammation of the brain and mental retardation. These infants are also often retarded in growth and can have blood disorders as well. If contracted in childhood, Rubella is a mild illness with rash and swollen glands.
Varivax protects against chickenpox, which can cause severe complications which are fortunately uncommon. Arthritis, hepatitis, encephalitis, meningitis, kidney disease are some of the infrequent problems caused by chickenpox.
New vaccines are always in the pipe-line and we have had to make many changes in our vaccination schedules in recent years. We keep a close eye on these developments and offer our patients every recommended new vaccine that is released.
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Delmar Pediatrics, PLLC
1220 New Scotland Road Suite 203
Slingerlands, NY 12159
518 439-CARE (2273)
Located 5 Minutes South of Albany, NY.
Serving Albany, New York's Capital Region including: Delmar, Slingerlands, Glenmont, Selkirk, Clarksville, Ravena,
Vooheesville, Guilderland, Colonie, Latham, Troy, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and East Greenbush.