August 2008 MedBytes: Adolescent Immunization

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Tex Med. 2008;104(8):64.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates August "National Immunization Awareness Month." Many of the vaccines on the schedule today targeted toward adolescents have new recommendations. The Web sites that follow will help you counsel adolescents and their parents on the importance of these new vaccines.

Texas Medical Association
The Texas Medical Association's Be Wise - Immunize SM public health initiative strives to increase statewide immunization rates. Since 2004, more than 100,000 shots have been administered to Texas children through the program. TMA is collaborating with the Texas Department of State Health Services to launch an effort this month to increase the rate of adolescent immunizations throughout the state while building awareness among parents, adolescents, and physicians. At  www.texmed.org/bewise , you can download - free of charge - posters, physician manuals on teen vaccines, toolkits, vaccine liability books, vaccination reminder cards, and patient brochures. The resources include barriers to vaccinating this patient population and solutions, information on conscientious objection, immunization schedules, sample minor consent forms, and more.

American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a robust Web site,  www.cispimmunize.org , that features an abundance of vaccination information for physicians and their patients. In addition to the 2008 adolescent immunization schedule, you'll also find vaccine safety information, supply updates, and AAP recommendations and policies. Under the Information for Teens heading, you'll be directed to the  Adolescent Immunization  page, with details on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's pre-teen vaccination campaign, an effort that includes flyers, posters, banner ads, and Web content focused on pre-teen vaccines and medical checkups. The page also has resources for teens and their parents, strategies to increase immunization coverage, and additional resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Vaccines & Immunizations Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  www.cdc.gov/vaccines , provides comprehensive resources for obtaining maximum immunization coverage in all populations. The  Pre-teens and Adolescents  section contains a For Health Professionals portion with links to  vaccination recommendations  from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); information about  HPVMCV4 , and  Tdap  vaccines; clinical description and diagnosis; a screening questionnaire for teen immunizations; and National Immunization Survey adolescent coverage data. You can also access the  adolescent immunization schedule , as well as a vaccine quiz to share with patients.

Keep Kids Healthy
The Immunizations link under the main menu of the Keep Kids Healthy Web site,  www.keepkidshealthy.com , features recommendations and details for DTaP, hepatitis B, MMR, polio, tetanus, chicken pox, pneumoccoccus, hepatitis A, influenza, and meningitis vaccines. Select the  Meningococcal Vaccine Information Sheet  to link to a description of meningitis and information about meningococcal vaccine recommendations and dosages. You can also link to  vaccine information sheets  and side effects, the  Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System , vaccine safety fact sheets, and  travel information . The  Adolescent  tab at the top of the site has the latest on nutrition, growth and development, safety, health risks, vaccines, and health guidelines for this patient population.

Texas Department of State Health Services
The Immunization Branch of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS),  www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize , is a wide-ranging resource for health care professionals who vaccinate. The site highlights  Texas Vaccine Education Online , an endeavor that provides online courses, some geared for health care professionals, on topics related to vaccines, including the Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) program, the ImmTrac registry, vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccine administration, and strategies to raise coverage levels. The Providers section includes the latest news, guidelines for vaccine storage and handling, forms and documents, TVFC information, and state-provided vaccine policies. Visit  secure.immunizetexasorderform.com  to order posters, physician manuals on teen vaccines, toolkits, vaccine liability books, vaccination reminder cards, and patient brochures from the TMA-DSHS effort to increase adolescent vaccine coverage. Specific details on the HPV vaccine are available at  www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/hpv.shtm .

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to Texas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, e-mail  Crystal Conde . Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.

 

 

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