Which vaccines does your child need?
Many parents are afraid of vaccines, and many are confused because there are so many available.
The bottom line is there is no proof the vaccines cause autism, and we could prevent 10,000 childhood deaths by making sure kids get the right shots.
Here’s what you need to know:
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control are recommending vaccine changes -- starting with a meningitis booster shot for 16 year olds.
Meningitis is a potentially deadly bacterial infection. Doctors say children should get vaccinated at age 11. But the vaccine weakens over time - leaving as many as half of those kids by age 16.
Texas has already made the shot mandatory to attend college.
Another change: doctors now say boys as well as girls can get the human papilloma virus vaccine as early as age 9. That’s earlier than previous recommendations.
Human papilloma virus is transmitted sexually and linked to cervical cancer in women, but certain h-p-v strains are also the cause of many head and neck cancers -- particularly in men.
The reason for the change is that the vaccine is most effective at creating h-p-v antibodies before age 11 or 12, often before they reach sexual maturity.
- At two months - Dtap; diphtheria tetanus and pertussis or whooping cough; then speak to your doctor about boosters.
Polio vaccine - the bacteria shot that protects against meningitis
- At six months - the flu shot
- And at one year - chicken pox vaccine, MMR, measles, mumps and rubella
After the first shot, ask your pediatrician when boosters are necessary.