Infants & Toddlers
Our youngest Virginians are the most vulnerable when it comes to serious illnesses and diseases. Newborns receive some natural immunity from their mother, but it quickly fades. That is why it’s very important to protect the health of your young child by making sure they receive all their immunizations on time.
The good news is that immunizations work. Most of us have never seen polio, diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis) or other vaccine-preventable diseases thanks to the protection vaccines provide. Did you know that smallpox, a disfiguring and sometimes deadly disease, was erased in 1980? You won’t find polio in the United States, but it’s still a problem in some parts of the world. When a vaccine is introduced and widely used, often that disease quickly fades.
Vaccines are not just for babies anymore. Pre-teens, ages 9-12, and teens have different needs for immunizations. Teens are more social and take more risks, so they are likely to catch certain diseases. Also, the protection from the immunizations they received as children can begin to fade so an additional dose or booster is needed. By giving the immunizations in the pre-teen years, teens are protected when they are most at risk. Talk to your healthcare provider about vaccines for your pre-teen and teen.
The following vaccines are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC starting at age 11or 12 and some are required for school attendance in Virginia:
We never outgrow the need for vaccines. By the time we are adults, our immune systems have fought many infections and developed protection. But some adults may not have been immunized as children and need to catch up. Getting a childhood disease like measles or mumps as an adult can have serious health consequences. Sometimes diseases (example: flu) change over time and we need to update our immunity. Newer vaccines, now routinely given to children or teens, may not have been available to all adults when they were younger but could be beneficial now. Or, some of the protection from the disease may fade as we age so an additional dose may be necessary.
The vaccines listed are recommended for adults. Talk to your healthcare provider about boosting your immunization with the following: