With all of the news surrounding pertussis (whooping cough) outbreaks across the country, along with cases of measles in several states, the importance of vaccinating is paramount.
This scenario seems to be part of the case for pertussis, as the adult population had not been vaccinated against pertussis for many years. It's now evident and recommended that adults, as well as children, receive a booster dose of pertussis in the form of a TdaP vaccine. That means ALL adults.
I know that winter illnesses are just around the corner. Every day, parents ask me, why does my child get a cold, a cough, or a fever and vomiting? That's because we don't yet have vaccines for the common cold, or for norovirus, enterovirus or adenovirus. Those vaccines may be available one day. However, we do have vaccines for rotavirus (winter-time vomiting and diarrhea), measles, chickenpox, and influenza.
The great news is that the flu vaccine for 2013-2014 is now quadrivalent, which means that there are four strains of flu in the vaccine (two for flu A and two for flu B). This should provide even greater protection.
So, as you're getting the kids ready for school and immunized, think ahead about flu vaccine, too. Doses are already arriving in our office and we'll be vaccinating all during the fall in hopes of keeping more illness at bay this winter. The best protection against disease continues to be vaccines. Spread the word, not the disease!
(Dr. Sue Hubbard is a nationally known pediatrician and co-host of "The Kid's Doctor" radio show. Submit questions at http://www.kidsdr.comat http://www.kidsdr.com.)
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