Now is the time to immunize

By Lynda Figueredo - bioemail

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - School is already in full swing in some counties, but Chatham County still has a few days to go.

Now is the time students and adults should be getting their immunizations as they head into the fall season.

"I have my backpack and pencils," said Kalieb Mobley, who is about to start sixth grade in Chatham County. His mom knows there is one thing last thing he needs to get before the start of the year.

"With Kalieb entering the sixth grade, I know there is going to be a round of shots that he is required to have," said Trickia Collins.

Collins brought her son in early to the health department in order to beat the crowd of parents who need to get their children vaccinated for the start of the school year.

"Vaccines protect you from many preventable diseases," said Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Diane Weems. "The most common ones we are concerned about are whooping cough, measles, mumps, chicken pox, influenza, hepatitis A and B, to name a few."

Childhood immunization rates among Georgia's youth are up, but Weems said an overwhelming number of adults are not getting their shots.

"A lot of that is because people are used to thinking that vaccinations are something that children need, but vaccinations are something important along the lifespan," Weems said. "As we become adults and older, there are boosters we need, new vaccinations available. So it is important that adults think about vaccinations as well, not only influenza but tetanus. So they don't share it with younger household members."

That's why Collins said she will be making a return visit to the health department protect herself and her family from any spread able diseases.

"You want to be abreast on immunizations, it is important," Collins said.

The following are the recommended vaccinations for children, adolescents and adults:

Children (birth to 6 years of age)

  • Hepatitis B
  • Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
  • Poliovirus (polio)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Meningococcal (causes meningitis and sepsis)

Adolescents (7 through 18 years of age)

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal (causes meningitis and sepsis)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap booster)
  • Varicella (2nd dose maybe needed)

Adults (19 through 65 years of age)

  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Varicella (chicken pox)
  • Zoster (shingles)
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal (causes meningitis and sepsis)

**Note: Some adult immunizations are recommended only for certain age groups or those meeting risk criteria

The childhood, adolescent and adult immunization schedules are available on the Health Department Web site under the Be Wise: Immunize! link.

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