Wednesday, August 1, 2007

CDC's New Recommendations

A new campaign launched today encourages parents to get their preteens vaccinated for meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and HPV.

A tetanus shot lasts about 10 years, so if they haven't had one in a while it will need to be received again. Whooping cough and diphtheria vaccinations also wear off after some time so it too will need to be revisited, as they are both highly contagious and can be spread simply by close contact.

Meningitis, infection of the coverings around the brain and spinal cord, is highly recommended for kids going off to college, as close dorm living is an easy place for it to spread. Bacterial meningitis, the very serious kind that needs to be treated immediately, can be spread through coughing, sneezing or close contact. The vaccine is said to last three years.

The newly released HPV vaccine is a tad controversial. It is often referred to as the "cervical cancer vaccine", which is technically incorrect. HPV can cause cervical cancer and preventing HPV can therefore prevent cervical cancer via that route, but not all other routes (i.e. genetics). The reason some are against vaccinating all young girls is, as far as I can tell, because it involves sex. Some parents think if their daughters steer away from premarital sex, there is no reason for them to get vaccinated against an STD. That's a nice rosy picture to paint, but who knows what your daughter will or won't engage in for the next decade or so. Forget that sex is involved and get a vaccine that can't hurt, and may help in the long run.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you think Vaccines can't hurt, you may want to do more research.

Many parents will beg to differ on the potential harm caused by vaccines.
Is a good place to start.