Fall 2017

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torrancememorial.org PULSE | 15 A S K T H E D O CTO R V accines have prevented the spread of numerous illnesses, and some have even been annihilated. Administered soon aer birth and for several years aer, childhood vaccination helps provide immunity in the human body against certain dangerous diseases, such as polio, measles and mumps. Pulse recently spoke with Rita Tenenbaum, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at Torrance Memorial Physician Network, with a secondary certification in clinical homeopathy/ integrated medicine, to learn more about vaccines. WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE BABIES TYPICALLY GIVEN AT THEIR FIRST VACCINE APPOINTMENT? Hepatitis B, rotavirus (RV), DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b, PCV (pneumococcal), and polio (IPV). e MMR vaccine, which protects against mumps, measles and rubella, is given in two doses: at 12 to 15 months and again at 4 to 6 years of age. DO YOU HAVE A RECOMMENDATION FOR PATIENTS WHOSE PARENTS MAY BE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR INFANTS AND CHILDREN BEING GIVEN TOO MANY VACCINES AT ONE TIME? If a parent is concerned about their child receiving too many vaccines at once, I'll administer their child's vaccines on an alternate schedule. For example, I'll give two vaccines at a time at months two, three, four, five and six, versus more vaccines at once at months two, four and six—adding months three and five on the alternate schedule. ARE THERE ANY PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS RESURGENT DISEASES RIGHT NOW? Mumps is a significant disease that can seriously impact both girls and boys. Among the consequences seen with a mumps infection, girls who are infected with mumps may suffer permanent hearing loss and boys can experience orchitis (an inflammation of the testicles) that can lead to low sperm count in adulthood. CAN YOU RECOMMEND A CREDIBLE WEBSITE FOR PARENTS WHO WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT VACCINES? Two good websites are: e American Academy of Pediatrics at healthychildren.org/ and e U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules. IS THERE ANYTHING NEW REGARDING VACCINES? Yes, the last few years we've seen a new vaccine added for meningococcal disease called Meningitis B vaccine, for patients 16-25 years of age. is provides immunization for serotype B. e previous vaccine for meningitis called Menactra is still used and covers four serotypes (AWCY). e first dose is administered at age 12, and the second dose is given between ages 15-16 years. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF A PARENT OF ONE OF YOUR PATIENTS REFUSED TO ALLOW THEIR CHILD TO RECEIVE VACCINES? As a physician, my job is to educate my patients and their parents and provide the best medical care and information. It's my professional decision to still see patients whose parents refuse vaccinations. I prefer to keep these patients in my practice so I can monitor them for the chance of development of vaccine preventable diseases. is is the right thing to do in my opinion. Also, these same children still need medical care for routine problems. In the end, it's the parent's choice. No one can force a parent to agree to a vaccine if they don't want it for their child. However, the schools in California require children receive their vaccines before they enter school. For parents who don't get their children immunized, their option is homeschooling. Vaccines have been vilified by some people and a lot of misinformation is out there. When some diseases are no longer a threat, we can forget why that is. It's because of vaccines. People can become lax and forget that before vaccines, communities were literally under siege and could not function due to outbreaks of illnesses that can now be prevented with vaccines. WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT VACCINATIONS? WRITTEN BY CAROLE JAKUCS, BSN, RN, PHN The Torrance Memorial Physician Network Pediatricians operate at two locations in the South Bay. For more information, go to www.tmphysiciannetwork.org /pedslocations

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