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Immunizations Part of Back to School Preparations
Date:9/6/2007

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut Recognizes National

Immunization Awareness Month

NORTH HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is reminding parents to make sure their adolescents' immunizations are up to date as part of their back to school preparations. August is the perfect time for parents to check with their child's provider to be certain they are current on their vaccines.

"As August arrives and parents start to think about back to school preparation, it's very important that children get their recommended immunizations," said Peter Bowers, M.D., medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut. Bowers noted that immunizations do not stop after high school, as many colleges now require vaccinations against meningococcal disease.

In addition, there are some new vaccines that have become recently available for adolescents. The new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended for girls ages 11-12 years. The HPV vaccine is a 3-dose series administered over a six month period. Whooping cough (pertussis) is a vaccine given to young children, but immunity fades over time. The best protection for teens and pre-teens is a booster shot of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) that protects against these serious diseases. Anthem provides coverage for most vaccines. Policyholders should confirm their specific benefits by calling the toll free number listed on their insurance card.

According to Dr. Bowers, adolescents (11 to 12-year-olds) are not immunized as regularly as young children (infant to 2 year-olds) because adolescents don't visit a physician's office as frequently.

"The opportunity for medical staff to determine if a vaccination is due is not present as often with adolescents as it is with infants and young children. That's why it is important for pare
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut
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