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What's new in Immunizations

New vaccinations are always coming to market, but now more than ever we have new immunizations at our disposal for various disease processes at various ages. Some of these are OHIP covered, some are not but all are worth reviewing to see if any apply to yourself or a family member.

Zostavax: This is the first and only vaccine indicated to help prevent shingles ( a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox) in people 60 and over. Shingles is a painful skin rash that can lead to weeks, months or even years of severe debilitating nerve pain. Only one shot is needed, however manufacturer's supplies are limited. This vaccine is covered by OHIP for individuals 65 to 70 years old.

Gardasil: This is a vaccine that protects against the HPV viral subtypes 6,11,16, and 18. HPV is the most common STD in circulation, with close to 80% of sexually active individuals having been exposed to this virus. HPV is implicated in certain diseases such as cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers and genital warts. Although initially indicated for women age 9-26 it's indication has been extended to women up to age 45, and to boys and men age 9-26. The vaccine is available for free for girls in grade 8, and by prescription for all others. Even though this and other vaccines provide some protection, we must remain cognizant of the fact that there are over 200 types of HPV and so condoms remain the most important part of STD protection.

Cervarix: Cervarix is another HPV vaccine that protects against HPV types 16 and 18. It is also available on prescription and may have longer antibody protection then gardasil vaccine.

Menactra: Menactra is a vaccine that protects against the four preventable strains of meningitis namely A,C Y, and W-135. Meningitis is a serious infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Menactra is available for people age 2-55 years of age. It is currently given to children in grade 7 as part of the public health vaccine program as of 2010. The previous menjugate vaccine only protected against type C meningitis so teens who received this and are heading off to college or university should consider receiving the menactra vaccine for broader better protection, as this age group is our high risk group.

Hepatitis Vaccines: These vaccines have been available for years and are indicated for everyone at all ages. Twinrix covers both hepatitis A and B. Children are currently vaccinated for Hep B in grade 7 , and if travelling to complete their protection should receive a Hepatitis A vaccine as well.

Adacel: Adacel is the new tetanus diphtheria vaccine that also has pertussis ( whooping cough) included in it's mix. Due to waning immunity to pertussis noticed in teenagers and adults this new tetanus booster was developed. It is given and covered for all teens age 14-16, and it is advised that all adults, when due for their next Td booster be given an adacel at that time.

 

 

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Providing care for Trafalgar Sheddon & Associates patients. After Hours Clinic Monday to Friday from 5:00pm-8:00pm. It is important to arrive and be registered by 7:30pm.

 

 

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