Recent items of interest from the world of infectious diseases including the latest influenza vaccine recommendations, new policies from AAP to boost childhood immunization rates, new guidelines for the treatment of common sexually transmitted diseases, Zika in the US, and the FDA ban on some common antibacterial ingredients in soaps and body washes.
As a mother, I’m certainly thinking about all the things I can do to keep my family safe and healthy for the upcoming school year. As a pediatrician, I also know that this is the perfect time of year to remind parents that on-time vaccination is the best way to protect infants, young children, and teens against 16 serious and potentially deadly diseases.
Recent headlines about meningococcal serogroup B outbreaks on US colleges and universities in the past few years have increased public awareness of meningococcal disease. College administrators, health officials, parents, and students face the possibility that a similar crisis could arise on their campuses. Although rare, meningococcal disease can be devastating.
As an adolescent medicine specialist, I’m faced with the daily challenge of guiding my patients through their adolescent years in a safe, healthy way. Sadly, there is much beyond my control, but the administration of immunizations is a very straight forward way of protecting them from diseases which I know will have a significant impact on their health. A perfect example of a vaccine that is extremely beneficial to patients in my practice is the HPV vaccine.
Waiting or delaying vaccines just doesn’t make sense. There is no reduced risk; leaving them unvaccinated just leaves your baby or child vulnerable to infections.
Vaccination plays an important role in protecting the health of mother and baby. It is one of our best options in reducing their chances of morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases.
The US healthcare system is on the verge of an exciting transformation that focuses first on keeping people healthy. We must send a strong signal that increasing immunization rates among adults in the US is indeed a national priority.