American Academy of Pediatrics issues updates on immunization

By Dale Kiefer - 27 Sep 2011 15:45:0 GMT
American Academy of Pediatrics issues updates on immunization

The October edition of the medical journal Pediatrics features new recommendations regarding vaccination precautions issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Academy now recommends that all contacts of children adopted from countries with high rates of hepatitis A virus be vaccinated against the disease.

Formerly, the organization recommended that only people traveling to these countries for the purpose of adopting a child should receive vaccination before departure. Now they recommend that anyone who may come in contact with the adopted child within 60 days of returning should be vaccinated to prevent the potential spread of the contagious virus, which causes acute liver inflammation.

The Academy also issued new recommendations regarding the importance of vaccinating children against polio. Although the disease has been eradicated in most of the developed world, following an intensive vaccination program that began in the 1950s, the disease remains endemic in some Asian and African countries.

Doctors fear the disease could make a comeback in countries such as the United States if new generations of children are not immunized. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the vaccine, which is composed of inactive virus, is to be given in four separate doses beginning in infancy and continuing through early childhood.

In the same issue of Pediatrics, the Academy also issued updated recommendations regarding vaccination against pertussis, or whooping cough. The disease, which remains problematic in the United States, is a potentially serious, readily transmissible disease that causes violent coughing. While it is dangerous for adolescents and adults, it may result in serious injury or even death among infants who are too young to be vaccinated.

Among other recommendations, the Academy, and the Centers of Disease Control, now say that children between 7 and 10 who may be underimmunized should receive a single dose of the vaccine.

Top Image Credit: Vial of vaccine © AnnieAnnie

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