Vaccines Your Child May Need
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia chief of infectious diseases Dr. Paul A. Offit recommends considering five vaccines for children beyond the 11 that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends--particularly if the children in question are traveling outside the United States--and says parents should ask pediatricians about them. Children over the age of two years without spleens or complement proteins, who travel to sub-Saharan Africa between December and June, or who attend sleep-away camp should be immunized against meningitis. Children over that age living in Washington, Alaska, Utah, Arizona, South Dakota, California, Oregon, Idaho, Oklahoma, New Mexico, or Nevada, and children traveling to the Caribbean or nations other than New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, or those in Scandinavia or Western Europe, should get vaccinated against hepatitis A, as the risk of the illness is higher in those areas. Children older than five months traveling to Mexico or nations with poor sewage systems should be vaccinated against typhoid. Children who have contact with a potentially rabid animal should get the rabies vaccine. And children living with someone infected with tuberculosis who cannot or does not take the antibiotics used to treat it should be vaccinated against that disease.