As featured on St Alexius - Marketing
Details for CHI ST ALEXIUS - MARKETING - Ad from 2021-09-11
The Point of Shots: Vaccines Give Children a Healthier Future For parents, the dog days of summer signal that it’s time to get kids up to date on their vaccines. This yearly routine isn’t just for little ones heading into kindergarten. Vaccines are important at every age as children grow into adolescents and eventually reach adulthood. Each vaccine helps protect children from serious and deadly diseases. Millions of children receive vaccines safely each year. They’re so effective, you probably rarely hear about the diseases they prevent – such as polio and rubella. As early as the day of birth, babies receive their first vaccine for hepatitis B. By age 6, they’ve typically received vaccine doses for 10 or more illnesses – from rotavirus to chickenpox. Several require more than one dose to be fully effective. Myth: It’s better to let children get illnesses and build up natural immunity rather than vaccinate against them. Fact: Whooping cough, an illness that’s prevented by a vaccine, can be deadly for babies – especially in the first six months of life. About half of babies with this disease end up hospitalized, a consequence that can be avoided by simply getting vaccinated. This childhood illness nearly disappeared in the 1940s with the arrival of a vaccine, but has experienced a resurgence in more recent years. A newer vaccine children typically receive as early as age 9 is the HPV vaccine. It protects against strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is spread through skin-to-skin contact and is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. The CDC reports that 85% of people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime and there are several strains of HPV. Some cause genital warts and some cause abnormal cellular changes in the cervix (lower part of the uterus). Sometimes, those abnormal cellular changes – called dysplasia - become cervical cancer. The vaccine helps prevent cervical cancer, which is the fourth most frequent cancer in women and is almost always caused by human papillomavirus The HPV vaccination has been in use since 2006 and was originally recommended for girls beginning at age 12 but is now recommended as young as age 9 and through age 45 for females and males. Once you are fully vaccinated, you are protected for life. Myth: The HPV vaccine is only for girls who are sexually active. Fact: While the HPV vaccine prevents pre-cancer and cervical cancer in females, the HPV vaccine also protects males from spreading HPV to females, and prevents HPV infections which cause genital warts and cancers of the penis, anus and throat. Those who get the vaccine are protecting themselves and others. By high school, children have received the majority of their needed vaccines. But they still need their yearly influenza vaccine. And there’s one more important vaccine not to forget. Age 16 to 18 is the preferred time to get the recommended two doses of the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. Myth: My teenager is healthy and doesn’t need a meningococcal vaccine. Fact: During the last several years, college campuses have reported outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease. This serious illness can cause death within a few hours. Teens and young adults are at increased risk for this disease, according to the CDC. For a full schedule of recommended vaccines, go to CDC.gov/vaccine. If your child has missed a vaccine, now is always a good time to get caught up. If you’re unsure about vaccines because of things you’ve heard or read in social media, talk to your primary care provider. It’s important to get the facts about life-saving vaccines which can protect your children for years to come. Dr. Laura Archuleta Dr. Laura Archuleta is a family medicine provider at CHI St. Alexius Health Mandan Medical Plaza. To make an appointment with CHI St. Alexius Health Mandan Medical Plaza, call 701.667.4600.