New Safeguards for Kids
An array of new vaccines has the potential to save millions of lives. Now the question is: Will all kids who need them get them?
In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a vaccine for females between the ages of 9 and 26 to prevent human papillomavirus (or HPV) infection, which causes most cervical cancers and genital warts. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) made new recommendations for kids to be immunized against rotavirus and hepatitis A, and expanded recommendations for influenza, meningitis, and whooping cough. There is little doubt that these new immunizations will save many lives. But just as certainly, they will provoke additional resistance among parents who shun vaccinations based on religious beliefs or scientifically unfounded safety concerns.
What to Watch:
With the new vaccines and recommendations, it will become more challenging than ever for parents to stay up-to-date about which immunizations are appropriate for each child's health needs. And the expanding array of shots and the rising costs associated with them could make paying for immunizations more of an issue: Health plans may force parents to pay for some or all vaccines, and some doctors may not offer all the vaccines due to problems with reimbursement. Left unchecked, such a trend could create a divide in society between kids who have full protection and those who don't.
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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