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healthy children | VACCINATIONS

of one or both legs or arms. It may also paralyze the muscles used to breathe and swallow and can cause death.

 MMR: The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella. It’s given as two shots. Measles causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose and watery eyes, and can cause ear infections and pneumonia. Measles can also lead to more serious problems, such as brain swelling and even death. Mumps causes fever, headache and painful swelling of one or both of the glands that make saliva. Mumps can lead to meningitis (infection of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord) and, very rarely, to brain swelling. Rubella is also called German measles. It causes slight fever, a rash and swelling of the glands in the neck. Rubella can also cause more serious problems in pregnant women. It has been suggested that the MMR vaccine causes autism, but reliable research has shown that there’s no link between autism and childhood vaccinations.

 HBV: The HBV vaccine helps prevent hepatitis B virus (HBV), an infection of the liver that can lead to liver cancer and death. The vaccine is given as a series of three shots. The HBV vaccine and Hib vaccine are sometimes given together in the same shot.

 Varicella: The varicella vaccine helps prevent chickenpox. It’s given to children after they are 12-months-old or to older children and even young adults if they have never had chickenpox or been vaccinated.

 Pneumococcus: The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) protects against a type of bacteria that is a common cause of ear infections. This bacteria can also cause more serious illnesses, such as meningitis and bacteremia (infection in the blood stream). Infants and toddlers are given four doses of the vaccine. The vaccine may also be used in older children who are at risk for pneumococcal infection.

 Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4): The MCV4 vaccine helps prevent a type of bacteria that can cause bacterial meningitis. The vaccine is given when your child is 11-years- old. Unvaccinated children entering high school or college should also be vaccinated.

 Rotavirus: The Centers for Disease Co nt r o l a n d Pr e v e nt i o n (CDC) recommends that infants be given the rotavirus vaccine at two, four, and six months of age. The vaccine is given orally. Rotavirus can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration in young children.

 Hib: The Hib vaccine helps prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b, a leading cause of serious illness in children. It can lead to meningitis, pneumonia and a severe throat infection that can cause choking. The Hib vaccine is given as a series of three or four shots.

42 issue 1, 2014 midwest health+wellness

 Human papillomavirus (HPV): The CDC recommends that young girls between the ages of 11 and 12 be vaccinated against HPV. HPV is a virus that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. The vaccine is given as a series of three shots over six months.

Reasons not to vaccinate

In some special situations, children shouldn’t be vaccinated. For example, some vaccines shouldn’t be given to children who have certain types of cancer, or certain diseases, or who are taking drugs that lower the body’s ability to resist infection. The MMR vaccine and the flu vaccine should not be given to children who have a serious allergy to eggs. If your child has had a serious reaction to the first shot in a series of shots, your family doctor will probably talk with you about the pros and cons of getting the rest of the shots in the series.


Recommendations about when your child should be vaccinated change from time to time. Vaccination schedules are available online or from your family doctor. Vaccinations usually start when a child is two-months-old and most are finished by the age of six.

Additional information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),


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