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HEALTH WATCH: High school and middles school immunizations

Updated: Thursday, August 8 2013, 12:49 PM CDT
Parents of incoming kindergartners are scrambling to get their little ones up to date on their required vaccines before school starts.
   
But pre-teen and teen students also need certain immunizations -- that from a Sacred Heart Hospital Adolescent Medicine Specialist.

Which ones are recommended for older children.
13 year old Santravia is in for her 7th grade checkup. Mom Shaunda Rankins says she thought Santravia was due for two vaccines.
   
After talking with Sacred Heart Hospital doctor James Burns Shaunda realizes her daughter actually needs four.

(("A little frustrated cause you know I could've been a little more on it.  Being focused on another one, I shoulda been focused on hers too."))

Shaunda  has two other younger children.  One with special needs who requires a lot of care.
She says she's disappointed she's behind on her teens health.

 According to research burns conducted himself -- it's common.
(("Parents are just not aware.  It's not like they're resisting, just didn't know.  98 % of parents in my practice right now thought their teen was up to date on  immunizations.  When in fact when I look at the records, only 40% were up to date."))

Burns is one of only four Adolescent Medicine Specialists in Florida.
He recommends the following vaccines for pre-teens and teens;

The MCV-4. It protects against Meningitis.
The HPV vaccine. For males and females, it protects against the genital warts virus that causes cervical cancer.

The Hepatitis a vaccine
And a second Chicken Pox vaccine.

Burns says many teens have had just one, but that they need two.
And the T-Dap shot.  It protects against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough.

Out of Burns' recommendations -- which mirror the Center for Disease Controls' guidelines only the T-Dap vaccine is required by the state of Florida for public school adolescents.

(("The fact that only one shot is recommended, required for school, the Tetnus D -- is a barrier too provided by the CDC. The younger children have practically all their immunizations are required for school by the entry at age five.  But unfortunately the teens only have that one."))

Burns says if you're wondering about your teens vaccine needs the news is good for Florida residents.
   
(("Florida is actually very advanced in their immunization record keeping.  We have access to a centralized data base."))

Santravia is all set -- the honor roll student is eager for school.  Mom is sure she's now as protected as possible.

For more health related news and tips head to our website and click on the "Health" tab.
HEALTH WATCH: High school and middles school immunizations


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