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Immunization Schedule, Children (cont.)

Meningococcal Vaccines

Meningococcal infections are most common in close living conditions (such as college dormitories, military barracks, or child-care centers). The infection may invade the bloodstream or the fluid around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Symptoms come on rapidly and can be severe (leading to shock, coma, or death). Meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria is difficult to distinguish from that of other bacteria that cause meningitis, making the disease more difficult to recognize and treat. Meningococcal infections are notoriously aggressive with a rapid march from an apparent minor illness to life-threatening status or death. Types of meningococcal vaccine include

Who should get the four-strain vaccine (for example, Menactra)?

  • 19-23 month-old children with certain immune deficiency states
  • 2 years and older children with a damaged or absent spleen
  • 11 years of age and older; all normal children

Who gets the B strain vaccine (for example, Trumenba)?

Those who are 10 years of age or older who have one of the following conditions:

  • Damaged or absent spleen
  • Complement deficiency states
  • Individuals taking the drug eculizumab (Soliris)
  • Individuals at risk due to strain exposure

Side effects of the vaccine include pain, swelling, and redness at the site of injection that may occur one to two days following immunization. A booster dose schedule at various times applies to all of the above.

Rotavirus Vaccines

Rotavirus is the number-one cause of diarrhea in the United States and throughout the world. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an oral vaccine against rotavirus. Vaccination against rotavirus is recommended by the CDC as part of the regularly scheduled vaccines. It is administered to all infants in either a two- or three-dose series starting in infants 6-12 weeks of age and completed before the infant is 32 weeks of age.

Clinical trials have found that immunization prevented over 80% of all rotavirus gastroenteritis cases, nearly all (over 90%) severe rotavirus gastroenteritis cases, and nearly all hospitalizations. A previously marketed rotavirus vaccine (RotaShield) was associated with intussusception (blockage of the intestine) and was removed from the market in 2002. The current two vaccines are manufactured differently and have not been associated with intussusception.

  • The first dose should be given between 6-12 weeks of age.
  • The second dose should be given four to 10 weeks following the first dose.
  • The third dose is given four to 10 weeks following the second dose (must be given before 32 weeks of age [about 8 months old]).
  • Side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, or swollen nasal passages.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2015

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