DID YOU KNOW? OVER 40,000 people become sick from vaccine preventable illnesses annually in the United States. Keep you and your child safe by getting vaccinated. August means back to school for many families. In addition to getting ready to start a new school or preschool year with new crayons and pencils, it is time to think about making sure your child’s immunization are up to date. Here is the list of vaccines your child should get based on age, and why they are important for all children.
Vaccines for Infants & toddlers
Tetanus is a bacteria that causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness that can make it difficult to swallow or breath. Tetanus is found in the soil and enters the body through open wounds.
Diphtheria is a bacteria that causes a thick coating on the back of the throat and can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, and death. Despite widespread vaccination, cases still occur due to contact with unvaccinated people and travel to a country where the disease is still present.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a bacteria that causes fast, uncontrollable coughing that can cause difficulty breathing. Whooping cough still occurs in the US, and nearly 50,000 cases were reported in 2012.
2. Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)is a bacterial that causes inflammation of the lining of the brain (meningitis), pneumonia, and bone and joint infections. Children who are under 5 and not immunized are at risk for serious infection.
3. Pneumococcus (PCV13) is the major cause of bacterial meningitis and pneumonia in children and is also a common cause of ear infections and sinusitis. This vaccine prevents meningitis and some pneumonia's in both young children and adults over 60 years, who are also at high risk of infection.
4. Poliovirus can cause sudden paralysis that is not reversible. While polio is currently very rare in the US, there are still countries in which polio cases occur, causing paralysis and death. The World Health Organization is working very hard to eliminate this infection world-wide.
5. Hepatitis B is a virus that causes liver disease that can lead to liver cancer in people who become chronically infected. This vaccine is important at birth and throughout the first year of life, because infants who become infected are at the highest risk to develop chronic disease.
6. Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver disease and is spread person-to-person through fecal contamination. This vaccine is important for all children at 1 year of age (6 months if traveling internationally) in order to prevent infection. When infected, young children often lead to infection in their adult caretakers. Disease in adults may be severe with liver failure.
7. Rotavirus causes diarrhea that can be severe enough to require intravenous fluids and hospitalization in young children and also causes more mild disease in older children and adults. Since this vaccine was introduced, there has been >75% decrease in hospitalizations due to this infection.
Measles is a virus that causes high fevers, rash, cough, congestion and red eyes. Children with measles may become very sick with 1:10 having hearing loss, 1:20 developing pneumonia and 1:1000 developing brain inflammation, which can lead to permanent brain damage. Children who are not immunized are at risk. There was an outbreak of measles with 35 cases in Kansas City in the spring of 2018.
Mumps is a virus that causes salivary gland swelling and orchitis in teens. Mumps can also cause pneumonia, meningitis, and hearing loss. Mumps outbreaks occur periodically in the US, and children and teens who have not received all the recommended vaccine doses are at highest risk.
Rubella is a virus that causes fever, rash and swollen glands. About 1:3000 will develop low platelets (important for blood clotting) and 1:6000 will develop brain inflammation. Pregnant women who are not immune to Rubella may become infected and pass the infection to the unborn baby, which can cause miscarriage or problems with the eyes, heart, and the developing brain.
9. Varicella is also known as ‘chicken pox’. This virus has often been thought of as a normal childhood illness, but before there was vaccine ~150 children died from complications of chicken pox every year in the US. Infants, teens, and people with suppressed immune systems are at highest risk for complications.
10. Influenza is a virus that causes infections yearly in the winter months in the US. This virus causes fever, cough, congestion, and ill feeling. Most people know exactly when their symptoms started because it hits hard and fast. The vaccine does not prevent all disease, but greatly reduces hospitalizations and death. More than 170 children died from influenza in the US during the 2017-18 influenza season.
Vaccines for Teens:
1. Tdap provides the same tetanus immunity as the DTaP and is also a booster for whooping cough immunity. This is important because teens are at risk for whooping cough due to waning immunity over time from the childhood vaccine.
2. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine provides protection against several types of cancers including cervical, throat and mouth, and penis. More than 100 million doses of vaccine have been given worldwide, showing that the vaccine is safe and effective causing decreases in these types of cancer. 3. Meningococcal vaccine (MCV) prevents sepsis, meningitis, and death caused by the meningococcus bacteria. This bacteria is the leading cause of meningitis in teenagers and can cause infection that leads to shock and death in 12 hours.
By Angela Myers, MD, MPH, FAAP, FPIDS Interim Director, Division of Infectious Diseases Associate Director, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Children’s Mercy Kansas City Associate Professor of Pediatrics UMKC School of Medicine 10/26/2018