- By Dana Sparks
Robert Jacobson, M.D., Mayo Clinic Children's Center pediatrician and vaccine specialist, advises parents to ensure their child has recommended vaccinations and be aware of changes to those recommendations. For example, children can now be vaccinated for human papillomavirus (HPV), at age 11, rather than having to wait until they are 16 years of age. This change will make it easier for busy children to gt their three doses of the vaccine within the recommended six months. Some vaccines are now more easily administered, Dr. Jacobson says: "We've combined the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine with the chickenpox vaccine so a single dose will cover all four of those diseases."
In addition, the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis combination, often called the D-TaP shot and given to children 6 years of age and under, can be given to new students at the same time, along with the final dose of the polio vaccine. Dr. Jacobson suggests that parents contact their family physician or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's online registry to stay informed of the recommended school admission vaccine requirements for their child.
Journalists: Sound bites w/ Dr. Jacobson and b-roll of children receiving flu mist vaccine are available in the downloads..