Martha Jefferson HealthWise--August 1st

In less than a month, many area school children will be heading back to class. There are lots of things to think about to get ready for school, with immunizations being the most important to your child's health.

Dr. Annika Abrahamson from Martha Jefferson Hospital explains the latest on shots and vaccines that should to be administered. A booster immunizations for prevention of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis are essential. The CDC says cases of pertussis or whooping cough are at an all time high. This to needs to be considered when administering shots to children. And there is now a shot to prevent meningitis. Parents should consult a Doctor to see if this is right for their child.

Another shot parents need to be aware of is the booster for the Chicken Pox vaccine. This is important right now because the first dose is traditionally given around the4 age of one. Because the immunity is warring off, the CDC has advised of a second dose at the age of four to six. Also, there has been much discussion about the H-P-V Vaccine. Dr. Abrahamson explains that the vaccination is called Gardasil and it's targeted to girls age 9 to 26. Virginia is one of a handful of states that has made Gardasil a mandatory shot for girls entering the sixth grade. Parents can opt out of the vaccine with a form. The new state rules will go into effect for the next school year, not the upcoming one.

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