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What's New in Vaccines

By Nina Livingston, M.D., F.A.A.P.

This is an exciting time in the history of vaccines; even as our children reap the dramatic benefits of our national immunization programs, new vaccines are being developed and older ones improved. The results of this continued progress have led to an increasingly complex routine immunization schedule and a rise in the total number of vaccine doses required to completely immunize your child. Ongoing monitoring of vaccine safety by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) also leads to occasional changes in routine vaccination. As a parent, it's hard to keep up with all of the changes. This update is designed to make you aware of some important new developments and how they could affect your child.

New Combination Vaccines
The idea is not new; by combining vaccines against more than one disease in a single injection, we reduce the total number of injections for each child. Many new combination vaccines are now available (one example combines Hepatitis B with Haemophilus influenza type b), and more are on the way.

Poliovirus Vaccine
Beginning in January 2000, the CDC started recommending only IPV (inactivated poliovirus vaccine) be used. This is a killed form of the virus and eliminates the chance of a child contracting the disease from the vaccine. Previously, the schedule called for two injections of IPV, followed by doses of OPV (Oral Poliovirus Vaccine) given by mouth.
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Categories: Children's Health, Health & Wellness,

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