Vaccinations: Protection from Infancy to Adulthood 9/9/2014 Although National Immunization Awareness month has ended and most children have returned to school, this is still a good time of year to review required vaccines and check immunization schedules to be sure we are all adequately protected. For most, immunization starts early. Infants receive a series of six primary immunizations from birth to six months: * * DTaP, the vaccine for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis * * Hib, the vaccine for Haemophilus influenza type b * * PCV, the vaccine for Pneumococcus * * IPV, the vaccine for Polio * * HepB, the vaccine for Hepatitis B, and * * RV, the vaccine for Rotavirus Four of these vaccines protect against diseases that are airborne, so be sure to get them on time. Hepatitis B is spread through direct contact with infectious blood or bodily fluids, and the last, Rotavirus is spread by the fecal-oral route. This means it is eliminated from a contaminated person and enters another person's mouth. It can be spread by contaminated hands, objects, food or water. Although it varies for each child, the oral fixation stage ensures that most items in a baby's hands will end up in their mouth; so these vaccines are time sensitive as well. For more information, visit <http://www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/index.html> www.cdc.gov/rotavirus/index.html. Toddlers and school age children are typically receiving a second dose of previous vaccines. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, the first dose of the MMR vaccine should be given between 15-18 months of age and the 2nd dose should be given between 4-6 years of age. Vaccinations for Hepatitis A, a two-dose series, should be initiated by the time a child is 12-24 months of age and concluded 6-18 months after that. For Hepatitis B, the first dose should be given between birth - 1 month of age; the second dose between 1-2 months of age; and the 3 dose between 6-18 months of age. Children seven - twelve years old can receive a catch-up dose of these vaccinations if they are behind schedule. Immunizing against Hepatitis is extremely important. If infected with this disease, children will develop lifelong liver problems, kidney, pancreatic and blood disorders. Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. An estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis; most do not know they are infected. Visit <http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis> www.cdc.gov/hepatitis for more information. Vaccination also protects children against chickenpox (varicella). It is a very contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Aside from the blister-like rash, itching, tiredness and fever, complications can result, like infected blisters from little hands that can't stop scratching to bleeding disorders, encephalitis (brain swelling) and pneumonia. For Varicella, the first dose should be given between 12-15 months of age, and the 2nd dose between 4-6 years of age. Teen and adult vaccinations are few and far between, unless you are receiving catch-up immunizations. The Td booster for Tetanus and diphtheria should be received every 10 years after the initial DTaP. Flu vaccines are recommended every year, especially for the very young or older adults who have chronic illnesses. Adults age 60 and older should consider the shingles vaccine because the risk of shingles increases as you get older. According to the CDC, after a person recovers from chickenpox, VZV stays dormant in the body. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles. Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, in their lifetime. Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles, even children. However, about half of all cases occur in men and women 60 years old or older. The only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles and the long-term pain from post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is to get vaccinated. The vaccine is available in pharmacies and doctor's offices, and is a TRICARE covered service for beneficiaries 60 years of age and older. For more information about TRICARE's coverage of immunizations, please visit <http://www.tricare.mil/immunizations> www.tricare.mil/immunizations. Through the expanded TRICARE pharmacy vaccine program, you may receive certain covered vaccines for zero copayment at participating network pharmacies. For more information, call Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303 or search for participating pharmacies online at <http://www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE/pharmacy> www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE/pharmacy. Last Updated 9/9/2014 SOURCE: TRICARE News Release at http://www.tricare.mil/HealthWellness/HLArticles/Archives/09_09_14_Vaccinations. aspx NOTICE: Links to archived copies of this and other mailing list messages, retiree-related events list, subscribe\unsubscribe instructions and other useful information for active duty, retirees and veterans, and their families, are available on the LINKS FOR MIL\RET\VETS website at www.hostmtb.org This message is being sent to the HEALTH.MIL and TFL mailing lists. If you prefer not to receive future HEALTH.MIL and\or TFL mailing list messages, please go to www.hostmtb.org <http://www.hostmtb.org> to unsubscribe automatically. If unsuccessful, please contact the Mailing List Mgr <mailto:Milton.Bell126@xxxxxxxxx?subject=Mailin%20List%20Unsubscribe> .