August 3, 2015
OSWEGO - School-age children, from preschoolers to college students, need vaccines. Making sure that children receive all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things a parent can do to ensure their children's long-term health-as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in the community. While it's true that some vaccine-preventable diseases have become very rare thanks to vaccines, cases and outbreaks still occur.
"The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 668 cases reported. Between Jan. 1 and July 10 of this year, almost 9,000 cases of whooping cough have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico," reported Jiancheng Huang, Public Health Director for Oswego County.
Immunizations are not just for children. Protection from some childhood vaccines can wear off over time. People may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases due to their job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions.
"Students entering colleges and universities should be vaccinated against certain diseases like meningitis, due to increased risk among students living in residential housing," said Jodi Martin, Oswego County's Supervising Public Health Nurse for Preventive Services.
Other recommended vaccines include the HPV vaccine, which protects against the human papilloma viruses that causes most cervical cancers, anal cancer, and genital warts. It is recommended for women up to age 26 years, men up to age 21 years, and men ages 22 to 26 who have sex with men."MMR (measles mumps rubella) vaccine is required for students entering post-secondary school. Protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis needs to be up to date. Students who have not received Hepatitis B vaccine should consider this, and anyone over the age of six months is encouraged to have a seasonal flu vaccine when that becomes available each year," said Martin.
When vaccine preventable diseases occur on college campuses, students who are unvaccinated often need to be excluded from campus activities, including classes. The Oswego County Health Department offers immunization clinics every Tuesday in Oswego and the third Tuesday of the month in Pulaski. To find out more about immunizations needed for college students, contact your healthcare provider or the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 349-3547.
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