Immunizations

  • ActHIB

    ActHIB® (Hib vaccine) is a childhood vaccine approved for use in children 2 to 18 months of age. It provides protection against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), a type of bacteria that can cause potentially life-threatening diseases.

    ActHIB is freeze-dried and can be reconstituted with saline for a vaccine that contains just ActHIB, or it can be mixed with the Tripedia® vaccine (a DTaP vaccine) for a combination vaccine that provides protection against Hib, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.

  • Flu-Influenza Vaccine

    The flu is a viral infection that is spread from person to person in secretions of the nose and lungs, for example when sneezing. Medically it is referred to as influenza. Flu is a respiratory infection that develops primarily in the lungs. Respiratory infections caused by other viruses often are called flu, but this is incorrect. Influenza usually causes higher fever, more malaise, and severe body aches. Although other viruses may cause these symptoms, they do so less commonly. The flu is a common illness. Every year in the United States, on average: 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from the flu.

    Why vaccinate for the flu?

    The flu is highly infectious and is a serious viral respiratory infection. Whereas with other viral respiratory infections the symptoms usually are mild and most people can continue working or going to school.  While ill with the flu, the symptoms are severe and prolonged and cause individuals to miss days of work or school.

    The infection stresses the body. In addition, superinfections may occur. Superinfections are bacterial infections that occur on top of a respiratory infection. Bacterial respiratory infections also are a serious type of infection, and the simultaneous viral and bacterial infection can overwhelm the function of the lungs and the body.

    Among the elderly and the very young, it can cause death. Because of its infectiousness, morbidity (severity of symptoms and time lost from work or school), and the potential for death, it is important to prevent the flu by vaccination. Although there are medications to treat the flu, they are expensive, not as effective as vaccination, and need to be started within 24-48 hours of the start of symptoms.

    What is the flu vaccine?

    The Flu vaccine is an inactivated vaccine, meaning that it contains killed influenza virus. The killed influenza virus is injected into muscles and stimulates the immune system to produce an immune response (antibodies) to the influenza virus. When the virus enters a person who has been vaccinated, the antibodies attack and kill the virus and prevent infection.

    Each year, the influenza virus can change slightly, making the vaccine used in previous years ineffective. Each year, a new vaccine must be prepared that will be effective against the expected type of influenza virus.  The vaccine is generally effective against the influenza virus within two weeks of the injection. The vaccine is only effective against the strains of the virus that match the vaccine. These strains vary from flu season to flu season each year. This is the reason that revaccination is required annually with the vaccine that matches the strains of influenza that are currently prevalent.

    Flu season can begin in October and last as late as May. October and November are considered the best times to receive the vaccination, but it is still effective when administered later. Flu vaccination does not protect against infection caused by microbes other than the influenza virus.

  • Hepatitis A Vaccine

    Hepatitis A vaccine is available in the United States. CDC's recommendation is for children to receive the first dose of a two dose series of hepatitis A vaccine between 1 and 2 years of age and that the vaccine be integrated into the routine childhood vaccination schedule. The vaccine is also recommended before exposure to Hepatitis A virus for people who are at risk of getting Hepatitis A virus infection. ALF says it's also recommended for people who will be traveling to high risk areas. According to the American Digestive Health Foundation, high risk areas include Mexico, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, South and Central America and Africa. In order to provide full immunity, several doses of vaccine must be given over a six to twelve month period.

  • Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV) Vaccine

    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States and is easily spread by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity with another person. It is possible to have HPV without knowing it and to unknowingly spread HPV to another person.

    An immunization is available to protect against the types of HPV that cause the most cases of HPV-related diseases and health problems.

    Gardasil: Protects against cervical cancer, vaginal and vulvar cancer, and genital warts.

    Two immunizations are available to protect against the types of HPV that cause the most cases of HPV-related diseases and health problems.

    Gardasil: Protects against cervical cancer, vaginal and vulvar cancer, and genital warts.

    Cervarix: Protects against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers.

    Protection from HPV vaccine is expected to be long-lasting. But vaccination is not a substitute for cervical cancer screening. Women should still get regular Pap tests.

    Immunization is recommended for:

    • Girls 11 and 12 years of age.
    • Girls and women 13 through 26 years of age who did not get all of the three recommended doses when they were younger.
    • This vaccine can also be given to girls beginning at age 9. It is important for girls to get the HPV vaccine before their first sexual contact and exposure to HPV.
    HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series over six months. To get the most benefit from HPV vaccination is to complete all three doses before beginning sexual activity.

  • Meningitis

    Menactra vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine against meningococcal disease. Although rare, meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness that includes meningitis (the inflammation of the protective layer surrounding the brain and spinal cord) and septicemia (blood poisoning).  Between 1000 and 2600 cases of meningococcal disease occur in the United States annually.  Every year, the disease quickly ends the lives of children and can leave its survivors permanently disabled.  Fortunately, you’re not powerless. Menactra vaccine can help.

    Menactra vaccine helps protect children

    • Menactra vaccine works. A single shot can help prevent your child from getting meningococcal disease, which includes meningitis.
    • Menactra vaccine protects. It’s an effective defense against the most common strains of the meningitis bacteria (A, C, Y, and W-135) in the United States.
    • Menactra vaccine is safe. Serious side effects are very rare.
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a meningococcal vaccine like Menactra for children 11 through 18 years of age.
    • Menactra vaccine is manufactured and distributed by Sanofi Pasteur Inc., a company with a long history of firsts, including one of the first meningococcal meningitis vaccines, a quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine, and now Menactra vaccine, the first and only quadrivalent conjugate vaccine licensed in the United States for the prevention against certain strains of meningococcal disease.

  • MMR Measles Mumps Rubella

    The MMR vaccine is a “3-in-1″ vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella — all of which are potentially serious diseases of childhood. One out of 30 children with measles develops pneumonia. For every 1,000 children who get the disease, one or two will die from it.

    Who Should Get This Vaccine?

    The MMR is one of the recommended childhood immunizations. Generally, proof of MMR vaccination is required for school entry.

    • The first shot is recommended when the child is 12 to 15 months old. The timing of vaccination is important to make sure the child is properly protected. It must not be given too early.
    • A second MMR is recommended before entering school at 4 – 6 years, but may be given at any time thereafter. Some states require a second MMR at kindergarten entry.
    Adults 18 years or older who were born after 1956 should also receive MMR if they are uncertain of their immunization status or if they have only had one MMR prior to school entry.

    Adults born during or prior to 1956 are believed to be immune. Many people within that age group had the actual diseases during childhood.

    Women of reproductive age who have not received the MMR vaccination in the past or in whom blood tests have shown they are not immune, should receive the MMR vaccine. Women should NOT receive this vaccine if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant within the next 1 to 3 months.

    Benefits

    One MMR will protect most individuals from contracting measles, mumps, or rubella throughout their lives. The second MMR is recommended to cover those individuals who may not have received adequate protection from the first MMR.

    Measles is a virus which causes a rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever in most people, but can also lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death in some cases.

    Mumps virus causes fever, headache, and swollen glands, but can also lead to deafness, meningitis, swollen testicles or ovaries, and death in some cases.

    Rubella, also known as the German measles, is generally a mild disease, but can cause serious birth defects in the child of a woman who becomes infected while pregnant.

  • Pneumococcal Vaccine

    What is pneumococcal vaccination?

    Pneumococcal vaccination is a method of preventing a specific type of lung infection (pneumonia) that is caused by Pneumococcus bacterium. There are more than 80 different types of pneumococcus bacteria-23 of these are covered in the current vaccination. The vaccine is injected into the body to stimulate the normal immune system to produce antibodies that are directed against pneumococcus bacteria. This method of stimulating the normal immune system to be directed against a specific microbe is called immunization.

    Pneumococcal vaccination is also referred to as Pneumococcal immunization. Pneumococcal vaccination does not protect against pneumonia caused by microbes other than pneumococcus bacteria, nor does it protect against pneumococcal bacteria strains not included in the vaccine. It is reassuring do note that of the 80 different serotypes, the vast majority of infections are caused by the 23 serotypes contained in the vaccine.

    Who should consider pneumococcal vaccination?

    Pneumococcal vaccination should be considered by people in the following groups:

    • Adults 65 years of age and older.
    • Persons > 2 years of age with chronic heart or lung disorders including congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, chronic liver disease, alcoholism, spinal fluid leaks, cardiomyopathy, chronic bronchitis or emphysema (COPD) or emphysema.
    • Persons > 2 years of age with spleen dysfunction (such as sickle cell disease) or lack of spleen function (asplenia), blood malignancy (leukemia), multiple myeloma, kidney failure, organ transplantation or immunosuppressive conditions, including HIV infection.
    • Alaskan natives and certain American Indian populations. If elective surgical removal of the spleen (splenectomy) or immunosuppressive therapy is planned, the vaccine is given two weeks prior to the procedure, if possible.
    Who should not receive pneumococcal vaccine?

    The pneumococcal vaccine should not be received by persons with a prior history of hypersensitivity reactions to the vaccine. The safety of PPV during the first trimester of pregnancy has not been evaluated. Pregnant women or those contemplating pregnancy should consult their doctors for additional information.

  • Polio Vaccine

    Poliovirus vaccine is an active immunizing agent used to prevent poliomyelitis (polio). It works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus that causes polio.

    There are two types of polio vaccine that are given by injection, poliovirus vaccine inactivated (IPV) and poliovirus vaccine inactivated enhanced potency (eIPV). In the U.S. and Canada the type of vaccine that is given by injection is eIPV. The type of vaccine that is given by mouth is called poliovirus vaccine live oral (OPV).

    Polio is a very serious infection that causes paralysis of the muscles, including the muscles that enable you to walk and breathe. A polio infection may leave a person unable to breathe without the help of an iron lung, unable to walk without leg braces, or confined to a wheelchair. There is no cure for polio.

    Immunization against polio is recommended for all infants from 6 to 12 weeks of age, all children, all adolescents up to 18 years of age, and certain adults who are at greater risk for exposure to polioviruses than the general population, including:

    •     Persons traveling to areas or countries where polio is uncontrolled, whether or not they have been vaccinated against polio in the past.
    •     Persons who live in areas where polio infection still occurs.
    •     Adults who have not been vaccinated or who have not had the complete series of vaccinations against polio and who live in households with children who are to be given the oral polio vaccine (OPV).
    •     Employees in day-care centers and group homes for children, such as orphanages.
    •     Employees in medical facilities, such as hospitals and doctors’ offices.
    •     Laboratory workers handling samples that may contain polioviruses.
    Immunization against polio is not recommended for infants younger than 6 weeks of age, because antibodies they received from their mothers before birth may interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine. Infants who were immunized against polio before 6 weeks of age should receive the complete polio immunization series.

  • TDAP

    ADACEL vaccine has been designed specifically to protect adolescents and adults 11 through 64 years from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It is similar to DAPTACEL® (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed), a diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine used to protect infants and young children.

    In clinical studies, DAPTACEL vaccine has been shown to provide1:

    •     85% efficacy against severe pertussis (cough lasting 21 days or longer)
    •     78% efficacy against all severities of pertussis
    In addition to pertussis, ADACEL vaccine helps protect against two other serious diseases-Tetanus and Diphtheria.

  • Varicella

    VARIVAX is indicated for vaccination against varicella in individuals 12 months of age and older.

    Children 12 months to 12 years of age should receive a 0.5-mL dose administered subcutaneously; if a second 0.5-mL dose is administered, it should be given a minimum of 3 months later.

    Adolescents and adults 13 years of age and older should receive a 0.5-mL dose administered subcutaneously at elected date and a second 0.5-mL dose 4 to 8 weeks later.

    Varicella Disease

    Varicella, caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV), usually occurs in childhood and is characterized by a generalized pruritic vesicular exanthem and fever.1 Constitutional symptoms that develop after onset of rash include malaise, pruritus, anorexia, and listlessness. Skin manifestations in varying stages of evolution consist of maculopapules, vesicles, and scabs. At first, the lesions contain clear fluid, pustulating and scabbing over a short period of time.

    Rash initially appears on the trunk and face, quickly spreading to other areas of the body. Successive crops of lesions generally continue over a period of 2 to 4 days. Crusts completely fall off within 1 to 2 weeks after infection begins and can leave a slightly depressed area in the skin.

    Transmission most likely occurs via respiratory droplets.  The virus is believed to replicate at the site entry in the nasopharynx and in regional lymph nodes.  Varicella is usually contagious from 1 to 2 days before onset of rash through the first 4 to 5 days, or until lesions have formed crusts.

    The risk of complications and death from chickenpox is 10 to 20 times higher for adolescents and adults than for children. The most common potentially severe complications of chickenpox are bacterial skin infections, pneumonia, and encephalitis.  Some infections can rarely result in necrotizing fasciitis. Varicella-associated bacterial skin infections with group A ß-hemolytic streptococcus can have a mortality rate of up to 70% when compounded by toxic shock.