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Tag: vaccines for foreign travel

When Do You Need to Get a Hepatitis B Vaccine?

Of the many vaccines children get in order to be protected, one is known as Hepatitis B. Doctors recommend that all children who fall into a high risk category get the vaccine.

How is Hepatitis B contracted?

According to the World Health Organization, there are four way by which Hepatitis B can be contracted:

1) direct blood-to-blood contact

2) unprotected sex

3) the use of unsterile needles

4) from an infected woman to her newborn during the delivery process.

Should I vaccinate my child?

This is a decision that is up to the parents. If the child is living, or will be living in close household contact with an infected person or a high-risk individual (a promiscuous individual or medical professional, for example), the Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended. The vaccine is also recommended for individuals who are planning foreign travel to countries where hepatitis B is common, in particular to Asia, Africa, South America, the Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Usually Hepatitis B vaccines can be given in conjunction with other vaccines that a baby or young child is receiving as part of their routine immunization program.

Why should my child get the Hepatitis B vaccine?

Hepatitis B affects the liver. It can possibly lead to serious health problems in later years. The Hepatitis B vaccine protects your child from a potentially serious disease.

If you are a carrier for Hepatitis B, you may not exhibit any symptoms, so you will unknowingly infect other people around you. When you are vaccinated for Hepatitis B, you are protected from ever contracting the virus.

A Hepatitis B series of injections will create a lifelong immunity. It is of the utmost importance to eliminate such diseases as Hepatitis B, because it causes cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. If you have an older child or teen who has not been vaccinated yet, be sure to give us a call at our Phoenix, AZ offices.

Hepatitis B Vaccine Schedule.

Your Phoenix AZ pediatrician recommends that children receive 3 doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine for full protection. The hepatitis b vaccine schedule has three rounds, and can be started within the first few months after birth. Your pediatrician’s office will keep a record of all of your child’s immunizations and will inform you when the next round of vaccines comes due.

Posted in Blog on September 22nd, 2015

What Do You Need to Get a Hepatitis A Vaccine?

Thanks to immunizations that have been routinely given, the incidences of contracting Hepatitis A has decreased considerably. It is, however, something to watch out for. Particularly if foreign travel is in your near future, consider making sure you have been vaccinated for Hepatitis A.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is caused by a viral infection. The virus is present in the stool of someone with the disease, and is spread quickly.

Hepatitis A can be spread person-to-person through direct contact with faecal matter. It can also be contracted by someone who swims, surfs, or kayaks in water that is contaminated by untreated sewage discharge.  Everyone’s symptoms may be different, and children may have no symptoms at all. Spreading the disease is very easy to do. That’s why children are routinely vaccinated against Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A vaccine is highly effective.

Parents in Phoenix, AZ, often ask the question “Should I vaccinate my child?” The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children between the ages of 12 months and 23 months should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. There are two doses of the vaccine given six months apart. If you have any concerns, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.

Your pediatrician will know exactly the right time to get your child on a Hepatitis A vaccine schedule. It is just one of the routine immunizations that start when your baby is a few months old.

Vaccines for foreign travel

If your family will be traveling to countries where there is a high or intermediate occurrence of Hepatitis A, it is imperative for your children to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. These are all precautions that should be taken to protect your family against any unknown diseases which can seriously effect your children when traveling outside of the Phoenix, AZ area.

Hepatitis A is commonly found in places where there is a high incidence of unsanitary conditions. Depending on the country you are traveling to, it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry later on.

Who should not get a Hepatitis A vaccine?

If your child has been given the first dose of a Hepatitis A vaccine and has had any kind of serious reaction, then they should discontinue further doses. Everyone else should receive their vaccine accordingly.

Posted in Blog on September 15th, 2015

Immunization Schedules for Children

Once your child is born you will be making monthly visits to your pediatrician for their well-being. The doctor will be checking for growth and motor development, making sure that they are on track with childhood development. It may come as a surprise to you that very early on a vaccination schedule will be started for your baby.

Immunizations that are given starting at two months old include:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Polio
  • DtaP
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • HiB
  • Flu
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella

Additional vaccines can be given when your child is older, and most vaccines are completed before your child’s second birthday.

Finding a Good Doctor.

You will want to get your child on an immunization schedule. It’s also important that you make sure they stick to that schedule. Especially as they come closer to enrolling in school, because without their shots there is no chance that they will be able to attend.

Keep in mind that certain vaccines are not given all at once. There may be two or more rounds that they need in order for the immunization to be complete. Finding a good doctor, someone with whom you can set a vaccine schedule for you, your child, or anyone else in your family, is an essential part of caring for your health.

Should I vaccinate my child?

This seems to be the big question. This is a personal decision and it is important that you discuss whatever concerns you may have with your pediatrician or family doctor.

Many parents are under the mistaken notion that vaccinations cause illnesses or serious health problems in their children. There is no evidence that this is the case.

Furthermore, you pediatrician or doctor will inform you that without immunizations your child will not be allowed to enter school or partake in any school sports.

Vaccines for Foreign Travel.

If your family travels a lot, especially outside of the U.S., then be aware that foreign countries require full immunizations before you arrive in that country.  The Centers For Disease Control website provides a comprehensive online vaccination list for each and every country you may be traveling to. In addition, you can specify whether or not you will be traveling with children to get any additional information. Speak with your doctor to make sure vaccinations for foreign travel are done well in advance of your departure date.

Posted in Blog on August 25th, 2015