Health Information

What's New With Childhood Immunizations
Are you expecting a baby or have small children at home? Are you ready for your child's well visit? Many parents are nervous and curious about what immunizations to expect at their child's well visit.

Immunizations are given to children and adults to prevent the most dangerous infectious diseases. Pediatricians at Botsford Hospital want parents to know what new immunizations the Centers of Diseases and Control (CDC) recommend. The CDC recommendations can be found at www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/acip-list.htm. New recommendations in 2006 include the following vaccines:

Rotavirus vaccine (RV)
Rotavirus can cause severe dehydrating diarrhea with vomiting and fever in infants and young children. The vaccine, a three dose series, is recommended for routine oral administration for all infants. The usual dose schedule is 2, 4, and 6 months. The first dose should be given between ages 6 to 12 weeks, and a minimum interval of four weeks should be observed between doses. The third dose must be given before 32 weeks of age. Side effects may include mild diarrhea, vomiting and fever.

Influenza vaccine
Young children are among the most severely affected by influenza. They also spread influenza easily by sharing their respiratory secretions with their family members and friends. Influenza can cause a variety of conditions in children including bronchial infections, croup, ear infections, seizures as well as the usual runny nose, fever and cough. There are two types of flu vaccine available, injectable and intranasal.

The injectable influenza vaccine is routinely recommended in children 6 months through 59 months. Kids older than five who have a medical problem such as asthma, diabetes, seizures or heart disease should also routinely receive the injectable influenza vaccine. People who live with or care for infants and children with increased risk for influenza should also get the flu vaccine. Children younger than nine years of age, who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time, should receive two doses of the vaccine. Injectable vaccine doses should be separated by at least four weeks.

The intranasal vaccine is available for healthy kids older than age 5 who do not have medical problems described above. Children age 5 to 9 receiving this vaccine for the first time should be given two doses at least six weeks apart.

Other new CDC recommendations include, the new Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) for adolescent girls, a second dose of varicella vaccine and a broadened recommendation for Hepatitis A vaccine (hep A) in kids.

Your pediatrician will help you decide which immunizations your child needs. Many of these will be given during your child's well visit. If for some reason these cannot be completed at one visit, be sure to schedule your next appointment to complete your child's immunizations.