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Keeping Healthy: Immunizations

With just weeks to go before the sounds of school buses and children fill the streets it's important to make sure all affairs are in order when class begins.
"After sanitation, clean food and clean water, immunizations have had the biggest impact on public health."

Dr. Frank Dubeck says if there is a vaccination out there recommended by the CDC- we should get it - and with new health care reform - the medical expense is covered. By the time a vaccination gets to the point of recommendation by the CDC, it has been thoroughly reviewed and deemed safe by world health experts. Still, some people are cautious about vaccinating themselves, and their children.

"There have been reports in the news about associations of some vaccinations with autism and learning disabilities and that caused people to shy away from vaccinations," says Dubeck, "those have been debunked."
Two vaccines that raise a lot of questions are the Acelllular Pertussis vaccine and the shingles vaccine. Dubeck says we're now seeing outbreaks of Pertussis. For that reason it is now recommended adults get a pertussis booster at least once with their tetanus booster TDAP instead of the usual DT(diphtheria tetanus). Zostavax, the shingles vaccine - although approved by the FDA for ages 50 and above - is recommended by the CDC only for ages 60 and above. Most insurances follow the CDC recommendation for coverage.

As we head into a new school year, for younger kids, Dr. Dubeck recommends all parents listen to their child's pediatrician for the recommended vaccine. For students entering their first year of college, he suggests all students get the HPV, meningitis and hepatitis vaccines. Both males and females should get the HPV vaccine - despite it being recommended just for young women initially.

When in doubt, speak with your physician, and remember, if it's recommended by the CDC - it's something that can keep you and your family healthy.


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