The COVID-19 pandemic provided challenges for parents to stay up-to-date on childhood and adolescent vaccinations and well check visits despite safety efforts by their health care providers. According to the CDC, “Many children fell behind on receiving routine vaccinations during COVID-19; CDC’s public sector vaccine ordering data show a 14% drop in 2020-2021 compared with 2019 – with orders for measles vaccine down by more than 20%.” It is important to make vaccination a priority to reduce the risk of becoming infected against potentially life-threating diseases.
To protect America’s children and adults, we must obtain maximum immunization coverage in all populations, establish effective partnerships, conduct reliable scientific research, implement immunization systems, and ensure vaccine safety.
Of all the medical advancements in the twenty-second century, vaccinations are perhaps most responsible for preventing disease and allowing people to live much longer and healthier than their grandparents. Immunization science has developed vaccinations for every period of our lives. From infancy to our elder years, we can and should ward off illnesses that were once accepted as inevitable.
Infant and children immunizations
Vaccines work to safeguard children from illnesses and death caused by infectious diseases. Vaccines protect children by helping prepare their bodies to fight often serious, and potentially deadly diseases.
Preteens and adolescent immunizations
CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that pre-teens get several vaccines at their 11- or 12-year-old check-up.
- Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap)
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- Influenza (flu) vaccine (annually from September through January and beyond)
- COVID-19 vaccines
Immunity from some childhood vaccines can decrease over time, so people need to get another dose of the vaccine during their pre-teen years. Also, as children move into adolescence, they are at greater risk of catching certain diseases, like meningitis and HPV. If your child did not get these vaccines at age 11 or 12, schedule an appointment to get them now.
There are no required immunizations for adults living in the United States unless the adult is a healthcare worker or public service worker. However, there are several immunizations that are recommended for adults living in the United States.