Immunization awareness is a Family affair
Wednesday, 09 August 2017
By Stephanie Heavner
Special to GUIDON

It’s almost time for children to go back to school and the one thing you don’t want your child to bring home is a vaccine preventable disease.

August is National Immunization and Influenza Vaccine Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to check vaccine records to make sure the entire family is up-to-date on all vaccines.

Vaccines protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases including measles, whooping cough and chicken pox.

When someone isn’t vaccinated, they are at an increased risk for diseases, and can spread diseases to other classmates, community members and those who are too young to be vaccinated or those with weakened immune  systems.

It’s important that parents understand what vaccines are needed for school-age children. For example, kids ages 4 to 6 need boosters for four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, also called whooping cough), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and polio.

Pre-teens and teens need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), HPV and Meningococcal Conjugate Virus vaccines.

Adults 60 years and older should receive the shingles vaccine and those 65 and older are recommended to get one or more pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain high-risk conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations.

Yearly flu vaccines are recommended for everyone six months and older.

If you have questions about vaccines, talk with your medical provider about which vaccines are needed for your family.

To find out more about the recommended immunization schedule, go to

If you have additional questions about vaccines, please contact the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital Immunization clinic at 573-596-0131, ext. 61768.

(Editor’s note: Heavner is a Public Health Nurse at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 August 2017 )