The Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department in conjunction with your local school districts is committed, just like you, to make sure that each child is protected from vaccine preventable diseases.

In 2005, the CDC added two vaccines to the list of shots recommended for adolescents. Meningococcal vaccines (MCV4) can prevent meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that attacks the fluid around the brain and spine. About 2,000 to 3,000 Americans get this disease each year; most of them are 2 to 18 years old. About 300 of these people die, usually within a few days. Of those who survive, nearly one in five lose their arms and legs, become deaf, become mentally retarded or suffer seizures or strokes. The CDC recommends that 11 and 12 year olds and high school freshmen receive the “MCV4” shot when they get their routine health physical. Adolescents of any age who want to avoid this disease can get this shot from their healthcare provider. (Most adolescents need just one shot)

Pertussis vaccine (in Tdap) can prevent pertussis, also known as whopping cough. Pertussis, a highly contagious (easily spread) disease of the lungs, can cause severe coughing, choking and vomiting. In 2004, 20,000 cases were reported in the U.S., the highest number reported in over 40 years. Nearly 40 percent of the cases in 2004 were among adolescents 10 to 19 years old. Adolescents wit hthe disease suffer, miss school and can pass it to babies, who can die. Until recently, the “Td” booster shot recommended every 10 years only protected against tetanus and diphtheria. Now there is a new safer vaccine for pertussis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that adolescents receive the Tdap — instead of the Td — shot, which protects them from pertussis as well as tetanus and diphtheria.

Shots required for the 2009-2010 school year are:

? Hepatitis A, two doses in a lifetime, for most people, two doses required for kindergarten entry.

? Hepatitis B, three doses in a lifetime, for most people.

? Tdap, a booster does requirement for 7th grade entry.

? MMR, (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) two doses required for kindergarten entry.

? Meningococcal, one dose for 7th grade requirement.

? Varicella (chickenpox) two doses requirement for kindergarten and 7th grade entry.

Parents, teachers and other adults need shots, depending on your age, past and current health conditions and when you’ve had certain shots, you might need hepatitis. A, hepatitis B, influenza, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), meningococcal, pneumococcal, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertusis), and/or varicella. Speak to a health provider. Also, check out CDC’s confidential questionnaire “What vaccines do YOU need?” at www.cdc.gov/nip/vaccinequiz.htm

We encourage you to speak to your child’s physician about vaccinations. For further information on vaccines requirements for school entry and adult vaccines recommended contact the HCHHSD Immunization division at 956-383-6221.