Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from over a dozen serious diseases before the age of 2. Diseases such as flu, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) can be life threatening to newborns and young babies. Women should receive the Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, pertussis) vaccine with each pregnancy between the 27-36 week time frame.
Children age 4 to 6 need boosters for DTaP (diptheria, tetanus, pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and polio. At 11 or 12 years of age preteens and teens need Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, pertussis), MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccines. Yearly flu shots are recommended for children 6 months and older.
Young men and women who have not started or finished the HPV vaccine series can be vaccinated through 26 years of age. Meningococcal vaccine is recommended especially first-year students who will be living in residence halls.
Immunization helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles and tuberculosis adults need to get their shots—-just like children do. All adults get the yearly flu vaccine and Tdap once if not received at adolescence to protect against pertussis (whooping cough) and a Td (tetanus) booster every 10 years. Other adult vaccines such as shingles (caused by the chicken pox virus varicella), pneumococcal, hepatitis and HPV depending on life style and health status.
Vaccines protect not only individuals but entire communities and that is the reason vaccines are such a vital part of the public health goal of preventing diseases.