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5944 HUBBARD DRIVE
ROCKVILLE, MD 20852
TEL 301 984 9490
FAX 301 984 9491
HURRAY!!! MORE SHOTS!!!
For those who can't get enough, there are new vaccines that have been indicated for children.
Pediarix - This vaccine is a combination of DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis), IPV
(polio), and Hepatitis B. This vaccine saves our newborns many needles and is indicated for
the 2, 4, and 6 month vaccinations. Please note that with Pediarix your child will have a total
of 4 Hepatitis B vaccines instead of 3. This has been approved by the ACIP and the AAP.
The extra Hepatitis B vaccine just provides extra immunity and is not associated with more
Bottom Line: It will save your baby many needles.
If you have any questions please inquire or you may check the CDC website.
Menactra - This protects against meningoccocal meningitis and sepsis. While this bacteria is
luckily rare, it is highly virulent and people who get it - end up dead. There are some people
however that are asymptomatic carriers of the bacteria. They have the bacteria but it doesn't
bother them. The bacteria can spread to those who have never seen them and cause disease.
Particular people are at higher risk - people in close quarters - dorms, military barracks.
The old form of the vaccine had a short immunity and was therefore only recommended for
those entering into high risk situations. The new form provides longer immunity and is
recommended for all children who are 11and older.
Boostrix and Adacel (Tdap) - There's a new tetanus in town. The old Td has added a p to
the end to add protection against pertussis. This is the same P in DTaP
What is pertussis you ask? Have you heard of whooping cough? In adults it causes a bad
cough that doesn't go away. In infants it is a significant cause of hospitalizations and
death. While adults don't get it as bad as the infants, they are usually the ones carrying the
bacteria home. While everyone is supposed to get the pertussis vaccine in early childhood, the
immunity wanes by teenage years. The new form of tetanus is recommended for children
11 and older.
For those children who have received the old form of tetanus vaccine, they should get
the new form after 5 years.
Hepatitis A - Hurray for hep A!!! This vaccine that we have been saving for those travelling
to endemic areas (the don't-drink-the-water countries), is now recommended for all children
between 1 and 2. Currently recommendation is not clear for older kids but we are immunizing
everyone under 5 and is optional for those older.
Gardasil - Yes it protects against cervical cancer. Yes the cancer is caused by human
papillomavirus (HPV) a sexually transmitted disease.... But my child is not that type of
girl (currently the vaccine is only approved for girls) and would never need such protection,
...well, the truth of the matter is that the rate of sexually transmitted disease (STD) among
teens is 1 out of 4... I repeat, 1 OUT OF 4 TEENAGERS HAS AN STD (http://www.
cdc.gov/stdconference/2008/media/release-11march2008.htm)... And most of these
cases are HPV. Furthermore, most of the cases of HPV are asymptomatic especially in
boys. You may be able to vouch for your daughter, but can you vouch for her boyfriend or
her future husband? I have had the unfortunate experience of caring for a young teen whose
first and only sexual encounter resulted in contracting 2 STD's. The vaccine is not effective
once you've already contracted the cancerous strains of the virus.
Please call if you have any questions.
There is a whole lot out there about vaccines and it's possible link to various conditions.
Autism in particular has had the most media attention. Autism is a devastating disorder that we
are learning about little by little. But there is much that we don't know. Unfortunately filling the
void of real answers of desperate parents was the rise of speculation and anecdotal evidence -
mostly sincere, some opportunistic (given the amount of books, websites, and medical care
professionals who have profited from parents' fears). What we do know is this - the
preponderance of the evidence - study after massive study shows no link between autism and
vaccines. Furthermore we are seeing an increase in the number of outbreaks of vaccine
preventable infections. But I don't want to guilt you into making this decision. Just know that I
will take the time to try to answer questions you might have and work with you so that we do
what you are comfortable as best for your child. Finally, I give you my last effort to convince
those still skeptical. As you know, I am the father of 3 children. They are more precious to
me than any other thing in the world as I am sure your child is to you. I promise that I would
not give your child any vaccine that I have not given or would not give (some were not
available when they were of age) to my own.
John Choi Pediatrics, 2004