Many parents schedule their children’s well-child visit, or “check-up,” during the summer months to prepare for the start of a new school year. Well-child visits are a great opportunity for providers to help parents ensure their child’s vaccinations are up to date, and to keep young patients healthy and free from vaccine-preventable illnesses.
With recent news reports of measles outbreaks in schools and child flu deaths, it could appear as though a large percentage of the population is forgoing vaccinations. Yet, reports from state and national organizations reveal vaccination coverage remains high among children.
August is a time when parents and students prepare to return to school from summer break. Adding routine vaccinations to that preparation can help protect individual patients, particularly middle schoolers, and their classmates from vaccine-preventable disease.
Summer vacation often gives students of all ages a break from homework and classes. But, for healthcare professionals, summer appointments present an opportunity to educate young patients and parents about their recommended vaccine schedule. Providers can help patients catch up on their vaccines before they return to school to fulfill state-mandated immunization requirements and to protect patients and their fellow students from vaccine-preventable diseases.
“You’re going to catch pneumonia.” We’ve all heard the phrase – and maybe even had it directed at us. But, providers know it is not that easy to “catch” pneumonia. In reality, people catch the bacteria, viruses or fungi that can eventually cause pneumonia. With this often-misunderstood illness, providers have an opportunity to educate patients about the severity of pneumonia and help them determine the immunization recommendations that are right for them.
While numerous studies have demonstrated its efficacy, HPV vaccination rates remain lower than other vaccinations recommended for the same age group, teens and pre-teens. Providers have an opportunity to consider how they communicate and deliver HPV vaccines to increase inoculation rates for teens.
From prominent higher education institutions to popular sports teams, mumps have been in the spotlight. 2016 has seen more mumps outbreaks than any other year in the past decade. Reported cases are nearly tripled from 2015, according to the CDC.
If you ask any pediatrician, it’s a tough call to decide who is more in pain from shots and immunizations – children or their parents. In reality, there’s both a physical and psychological component to shots, and both can be managed and mitigated with proper care, attention, and planning.
It’s been nearly 10 years since the CDC first recommended immunization against human papillomavirus (HPV), the disease known to cause many types of gynecological and reproductive cancers. During that time, numerous studies have supported the vaccine’s efficiency. Yet through a decade of endorsements and advancements, the HPV vaccine continues to fall below target rates.
Being a new parent is hard enough without the multitude of conflicting information on caring for a baby around sleeping, feeding, bathing and nurturing, to name a few. Yet, one of the most debated topics among parents centers on children's immunizations. And it’s one of the few issues where science clearly supports only one side: pro-vaccines.
The bacterial infection, pertussis, kept largely under control in recent decades by vaccination is again making headlines. Pertussis, known commonly as whooping cough, is on the rise. From 2013 to 2014, total cases reported increased 15 percent, and almost daily new outbreaks are reported in the news here in the United States and abroad.
In recent years, the anti-vaccine movement has increased in the United States. Despite the medical community’s overwhelming pro-vaccine stance, a small, but vocal group of parents have used sensational stories, questionable studies, and fervent beliefs to convince themselves and others from vaccinating their children. As a result, physicians today are often faced with a difficult decision: Do they continue to care for unvaccinated patients, and put other patients at risk, or do they choose to dismiss these patients?
As a parent, sending a child off to college or into the working world is scary enough. The last thing they want to imagine is a potentially life-threatening disease. Unfortunately, they should. On college campuses across the U.S., outbreaks of meningococcal disease (meningitis), a serious bacterial infection of the brain and spinal cord, have occurred.
When it comes to advancements in healthcare, it’s alarming to see a string of developing countries listed ahead of a major American city. Yet, due to a recent precipitous decline in immunization rates, Seattle, known as one of the country’s smartest cities, now lags behind numerous third-world countries for polio vaccination rates among children.
For physicians, vaccines seem like any easy choice. Backed by science, they are proven, safe, and effective with miniscule chance of negative side effects. Yet, some parents still have concerns and a genuine opposition. To dispel such fears, physicians must be able to effectively communicate the value of vaccines to their patients and parents.