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Published on May 03, 2017

nurse giving boy immunizations

Give it a Shot: Stay Up-to-Date on Immunizations

Are your children up-to-date on immunizations?

It’s never too late, or early, to make an appointment with your provider to make sure your children are ready for the upcoming school year.

Immunizations are an important part of your child’s long-term health, said Muna Ashraf, MD, Avera Medical Group family physician.

“We want kids to stay healthy,” Ashraf said. “I encourage all parents to discuss vaccinations their family physician. They can explain recommendations and answer any questions or concerns.”

We’ve got answers to some of the more common questions about immunizations:

Why do I need immunizations?

They will protect you and your family against common illnesses such as flu, chicken pox and measles. Not to mention, it helps protects other people you come into contact with in your community.

Can people still get polio?

Until an illness is completely wiped out, infection and outbreak is still a possibility. That’s why it is still important to get vaccinated for lesser-known illnesses that are no longer common such as polio, diphtheria and rubella.

Are vaccinations safe?

Yes. Immunizations go through many steps with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure they are safe. The CDC has found absolutely no link between vaccines and autism.

Why does my child need the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls because HPV is known to cause certain types of cancer. According to new recommendations, if your child receives the vaccine before age 15 only two doses, six months apart are needed.

Here is a rundown of what shots are needed for your children between ages 7-18.

Every year

  • Flu shot recommended yearly after 6 months of age

11-12 years

  • Meningitis (Meningococcal: MenACWY)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) (2 shots, six months apart)

16 years

  • Meningitis (Meningococcal: MenACWY)

You can get your own copy of the guidelines to keep handy so you never forget.

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

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