Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Family Physicians released a new immunization schedule for children and teens, published in the journal Pediatrics.
The recommendations included the following:
•Boys should also be vaccinated for the human papilloma virus (HPV). In the past, it was only recommended for girls, as new research revealed that it could lessen the chances of developing HPV-related cancers. Boys should be given the first of the three HPV shots at age 11 or 12 (same for girls). The vaccine helps prevent genital warts in males and females, as well as prevent the development of anal cancer, penile cancer or head and neck cancers.
•Teens aged 16 years old should get a booster shot of the meningococcal vaccine. Before, this was recommended at age 11 or 12; however, recent studies have shown that the effects of the vaccine don’t last that long, and the risk for the disease increases during the teenage years.
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•Babies 6 months and older should get the annual flu shot.
To learn more about the recommended immunization schedule for your child, consult his pediatrician.
•February 1, 2012. Cari Nierenberg. “3 Changes to Children’s Vaccine Recommendations Announced” livescience.com