Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You are invited to a free vaccine question and answer session.

From time to time we like to update you on Immunization events and new recommendations.

First, the American Academy of Pediatrics is offering special meetings this week in our area to discuss your concerns on vaccines. The program is entitled: “Everything You Want to Know About the Safety of Childhood Vaccines But Are Afraid to Ask”.

Our own Sofia Shakir, MD will be available to answer your questions on Wednesday, April 27th from 10:00 – 11:00 am at:
Greater Lagrange YMCA
1100 E. 31st Street
LaGrange Park, IL 60526

Or you can join the discussion with Bill Harenburg, MD of Wheaton Pediatrics at the Naperville Y on Wednesday, April 27th from
6:00 – 7:00 pm at:
Kroehler Family YMCA
34 S. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540

Admission is free but registration is required.  You may register at www.surveymonkey.com/s/childhoodvaccines
or contact Jeanine Solinski at 312/733-1026 ext 206

On another note
Check-up season is here--- and it’s a time to update your child's immunizations. Our appointments are already starting to fill in for the summer so call early to schedule your appointment!

One change that you'll hear from us is a booster on Menactra--the vaccine to prevent one type of meningitis. It helps to prevent the most common type of bacterial meningitis in children ages 2 through 18. It’s a serious infection of the spinal cord and brain which can leave children seriously harmed or even cause death. Most of the cases that you hear about in schools and colleges are caused by this type--meningococcal.

It's too late to give the vaccine once your child is exposed, so prevention by the vaccine is the key. Is it required? We strongly recommend the vaccine--but as of yet, the schools don’t' require it, although some colleges do. You may be thinking your child received the meningitis vaccine in their younger years--no, that was for another type of meningitis, Haemophilus b. They still need protection from meningococcal disease.

The new recommendation is to receive two doses…one at age 11 or 12 with a booster after age 16 or 17. The change to the added booster is because the protection from the shot decreases after age 16. If your child is at least 16 and receiving it for the first time, then they only need the one dose. You may ask “Why not wait till 16 then?” The reason is that the incidence of this infection in middle and high schools is high enough that we want to prevent your child from getting this type of meningitis with the earlier vaccine.

For international travelers, we may want to give this vaccine if your child is younger than 11 years of age, especially if you are going to Africa or some parts of the Middle East. Please contact our Travel section at PHA for more details on those recommendations.

Please feel free to discuss your questions or concerns with us at the time of your checkup.

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