In the last year, three new vaccinations were introduced to protect children from disease. These include the Gardasil vaccine (Human Papillomavirus vaccine), the RotaTeq vaccine (prevents severe rotavirus), and the Menactra vaccine (protects against bacterial meningitis).
Gardasil is a new vaccine approved by the FDA to prevent cervical cancer in females ages 9 to 26. It is a vaccine against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease that causes genital warts, abnormal Pap tests and cervical cancer. Gardasil provides protection against four types of HPV that most commonly cause cervical cancer and genital warts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the HPV vaccine for all 11- and 12-year-old girls (and those who are older who have not already received the vaccine). Gardasil is given in a three-dose series over six months.
RotaTeq is an oral vaccine that has been shown to prevent 98 to 100 percent of severe rotavirus gastroenteritis in clinical trials. Rotavirus is a contagious infection often spread from person to person through fecal-oral transmission. It may cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever and dehydration and is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide. Most children are infected before they are two years old. In the U.S., rotavirus causes an estimated 55,000 hospitalizations each year for infants and young children who become severely dehydrated. RotaTeq is the only vaccine licensed in the U.S. that effectively prevents rotavirus. The vaccine is administered in three doses at two, four and six months of age.
Menactra is a new meningococcal vaccine that is expected to offer better protection against meningitis over a longer period of time, an improvement over the previous meningococcal vaccine available since the 1970s. Meningococcal bacteria are the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2 to 18 years old and can lead to outbreaks and epidemics, and can also cause a serious blood infection called meningococcemia. The CDC recommends the vaccine for children ages 11 and 12 years old. It is administered in one dose.
For more information:
Gardasil – http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/STDFact-HPV-vaccine.htm