Teen vaccines and new rules outlined
By ROBERT S. MERRILL
The Southeastern Idaho Public Health office in Preston would like to inform parents about vaccines that are now available for their teens and new immunization requirements.
The price of immunizations increases significantly once a child reaches age 19, according to Jackie Pfeiffer, district health nurse. She said recommended vaccines for teens are as follows:
• TDaP – contains Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis (Whooping Cough). Seventh graders have to have a booster this year before entering school, she said.
• Hepatitis B – This vaccine is required for school entrance in children born after Nov. 22, 1991. Many teens born before that date have not received Hepatitis B vaccine. It is required by some colleges for entrance, especially in health-related education, for travel outside the U.S., and for LDS and other missionaries. Hepatitis B is a prevalent and incurable disease of the liver.
• Hepatitis A – The disease Hepatitis A is also an inflammation of the liver caused by food-borne bacteria. Two immunizations are now required for school in Idaho. This is a new law, according to Pfeiffer.
She said it is also required in some neighboring states, such as Utah. It is also a requirement for travel to certain countries and for missionaries.
• Meningococcal Vaccine – Meningococcal meningitis is a serious, fast-moving and sometimes fatal infection of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal bloodstream infection can cause the loss of limbs or death as well. The meningococcal vaccine protects against these infections. It is recommended that preteens (11-12 year olds) and teens receive this vaccine.
Pfeiffer said students entering the seventh grade this year have to have this vaccine.
• HPV vaccine is also available.
Pfeiffer said several other changes have been made in immunization laws this year. A child has to have a minimum of five DPT vaccinations before entering school. The previous requirement was four.
Children also have to have two vaccinations for MMR. Previously one was required. Four vaccinations for polio are required this year. Previously, three were needed.
This story is sponsored by Preserve the Nation.
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