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What vaccines do parents often overlook?

Patients generally get immunizations in scheduled groups, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which can make it easier for patients to get their immunizations. However, if a patient is off the normal schedule they may need to get an immunization at an odd time. Additionally, the flu vaccine is frequently overlooked because it is a yearly vaccine. Other immunizations that are overlooked are the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, which starts at 9 years of age. This vaccine is recommended but not required for both males and females. 
Parents are well aware of vaccines needed for children during infancy, and around the time the second set of immunizations comes due at age 4, most are being prompted by their school district, which typically demands that children receive the required shots before entering kindergarten. But more easily overlooked are key immunizations recommended at age 11 -- a booster shot for pertussis (whooping cough), the meningitis vaccine and, more recently, a vaccine against key strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection that can increase the risk of cervical cancer in women and genital warts in both males and females.

“I see more and more patients who have missed the vaccines they should be getting at age 11,” says Eric Curcio, M.D., a general internist and pediatrician at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. “For most parents, the last time their child had vaccines was at age 4, so they’ve gotten out of the practice of thinking about them -- and if they aren’t bringing their child in for the recommended annual visit, their pediatrician isn’t able to remind them.”

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.