2012-09-20 / Lifestyles

Check U.P.

Time to immunize

It is very hard to believe that summer is over, and that school has started – a very busy time for parents. But it is important not to overlook immunizations for your children during all of the other preparations being made. Even if you do not have children going back to school, read on, because there are some suggestions for adults as well.


From birth until starting school, usually four to six years old, required vaccines for children include: three Hepatitis B, five DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertusis), three Hib, three Rotovirus (if given in infancy only), four Pneumonia, Four Polio, two MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and two Varicella. Recommended vaccines include two Hepatitis A and two Meningitis.


At age ten, one dose of Tdap, followed by a tetanus booster every 10 years. Nine to 12-yearolds, both male and female, should have three HPV (human papilloma virus), which not only help prevent cervical cancer, but orapharyngeal cancer and genital warts as well. Eleven year olds need one dose of Meningitis with a booster at age 16. These are in addition to the childhood vaccines.

VanKlompenberg VanKlompenberg Adults

Adult recommendations have changed now that Pertussis (whooping cough) has had resurgence. All adults should have a Tdap booster, especially if they areFluexpectingShot Clinicthe birth of2012:a childLayout 1 or grandchild, as an infant does not have full immunity until after their third dose at about six months of age. Tdap should be administered every 10 years in adults. One Pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine after age 50 for high risk patients or 65 years for everyone, with one booster after five years if it was administered before age 65. One Zoster vaccine in everyone greater than 60 years, even if they have had shingles. This is assuming that all the childhood/adolescent recommendations were followed.

Influenza is the only immunization recommended yearly for everyone over six months of age, which should be available soon, if it isn’t already.

Keep in mind that this is just a general guideline, and there are special circumstances a primary care provider would be able to address. While there are some side effects from immunizations, usually very minimal, the benefits of protecting from potentially fatal disease greatly outweighs the risk of side effects. By following the above schedule, it will help protect everyone from at least 17 different diseases.

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Editor’s note: Check U.P. is a monthly column featuring doctors and staff from Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital and the Luce, Mackinac, Alger, Schoolcraft Health Department. The column will focus on health topics important in the area and nation. This week’s column features Gloria VanKlompenberg, family practice physician at SMH’s Rural Health Clinic. PM

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