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.
View the Immunization Chart below and click on the corresponding vaccinations to learn more.
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.
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 can contract this disease through contamination of the umbilicus or because their mother is not vaccinated. This is rare in the United States due to the success of the vaccination program.
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. Infants can literally cough themselves to death by being unable to eat or cause bleeding in their lungs.
Gardasil is a vaccine that protects against strains of HPV, Human Papillomavirus. HPV is an oncogenic virus, a virus that can cause cancer later in life. Forty strains of HPV are spread by sexual contact. HPV is now 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 B is a disease spread by blood, body fluids, vaginal secretion, semen and is found even in saliva and tears. Even long term exposure to someone with Hepatitis B can lead to infection. 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 run the risk of cancer and chronic liver disease. The risk of death for disease acquired in early childhood is 25% with 90% of infants acquiring the disease before 1yr of age become chronically infected.
HIB stands for Hemophilus Influenza type B (not a flu bug, just a confusing name). 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. Unfortunately Polio remains an active disease in the world, still crippling many children.
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, so prevention with immunization remains the best defense.
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.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces or stool of an infected person.
RotaTeq: For prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis in infants and children caused by the serotypes G1, G2, G3, and G4 when administered as a 3-dose series to infants between the ages of 6 to 32 weeks. Rotavirus is the most common cause of diarrhea and dehydration in infants and children; it remains the most common reason for hospital admissions.
Adacel vaccine is indicated for active booster immunization for the prevention of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Adacel vaccine is approved for use as a single dose in individuals 10 through 64 years of age.
Menactra & Meningococcal B: Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. lt can lead to meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and infections of the blood. Meningococcal disease often occurs without warning-even among people who are otherwise healthy. Meningococcal disease can spread from person to person through close contact (coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact, especially among people living in the same household. There are at least 12 types of N. meningitidis, called 'serogroups." Serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y cause most meningococcal disease. Anyone can get meningococcal disease but certain people are at increased risk, including:
• Infants younger than one year old
• Adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years old
• People with certain medical conditions that affect the immune system
• Microbiologists who routinely work with isolates of N. meningitidis
• People at risk because of an outbreak in their community
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.
The schedule for immunizations in childhood is formulated to protect your child from diseases when you child is...