Booster vaccines are recommended for preteens and teens to catch up on their immunity, especially as we navigate a pandemic.
If your child has received all the scheduled vaccinations when he or she was a toddler, you may consider them adequately protected against those diseases. However, this may not be true in all cases, since as they grow, children need boosters to keep up their immunity.
So, what are booster vaccines? These are recommended for preteens and teens to catch up on their immunity, especially as we navigate a pandemic. Here are a few of them:
The DTP vaccine: This booster shot, recommended for children aged 9-14 years, offers protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). While babies and toddlers are given the vaccination, the effects wane over time. Thus, to stay protected, they need a DTP booster shot when they’re older. It’s safe, with mild side effects, if any.
Babies need 3 shots at 6, 10 & 14 weeks of DTP, to be followed up with two booster shots in early childhood (18 months & 4-6 years of age). The teenage three-in-one booster is given at age 9-14 years. If left unvaccinated, there is risk of contracting these diseases, which can result in serious complications and prove fatal.
The Flu shot: While most adults and children recover from a flu easily, it can sometimes develop into a serious complication like pneumonia. It’s best to keep your child’s immunity strong with an annual flu shot. This is especially recommended for children who suffer from asthma or diabetes.
The MMR vaccine: Did your child miss their MMR shots, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella? As a preteen or a teen, they can still get vaccinated, especially if they are leaving home to go to college or taking a trip abroad. Make sure to schedule an appointment so they can catch up as early as possible.
The HPV vaccine: If you’re wondering whether your child needs this, the answer is yes, especially for girls. It offers protection against the virus that causes genital warts, besides cervical and other cancers. While the first dose should be given between ages 11 and 12, the second must be given before the age of 15.
Chickenpox or varicella vaccine: Chickenpox can be uncomfortable at any age. If your teen has never contracted it or been vaccinated against it, here’s your chance to protect them from this contagious disease with a shot.
As parents make sure to get their own Covid-19 vaccinations to keep themselves and those around them safe from the virus, they must also get their older children updated on their booster shots to protect from other vaccine preventable diseases. This is especially important since they are currently ineligible for the coronavirus vaccine and hence, more vulnerable. Remember, don’t wait, vaccinate!
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