[HEALTH.MIL] Vaccinations: Protection from Infancy to Adulthood

  • From: HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: <HEALTH.MIL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <TFL@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2014 01:56:19 -0500

Vaccinations: Protection from Infancy to Adulthood


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

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

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

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

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>

Last Updated 9/9/2014 

SOURCE:    TRICARE News Release at




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