Immunizations and Preventive Care

There has been a lot of news and social media coverage about immunizations. The UMHS Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools (RAHS) follows the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for vaccination schedules.

Many children receive recommended vaccines in early childhood. But what about adolescents? The AAP recommends that adolescents receive the following vaccines:

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV): HPV can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. It is recommended that adolescent girls AND boys get immunized against HPV.
  • Meningococcal Disease: According to the AAP, “While it can strike anybody, the greatest risk (for meningococcal disease) is in individuals between 15 and 21 years of age”
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis: The AAP recommends that the first Tdap vaccine should be “given at age 11 or 12. People who did not get Tdap at that age should get it as soon as possible. Tdap is especially important for health care professionals and anyone having close contact with a baby younger than 12 months. Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy, to protect the newborn from pertussis. Infants are most at risk for severe, life-threatening complications from pertussis.
  • Influenza (Flu): “Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every winter, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get flu, but the risk of getting flu is highest among children.”

Don’t forget to wash your hands often! Wearing a mask while you are sick can help prevent spreading the flu.

For more information visit www.aap.org/immunization.

Do you have questions about immunizations? Talk to your RAHS care provider at your RAHS school-based health center! We are happy to answer all of your questions and address any concerns.

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