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More U.S. 'Tweens' Getting Recommended Vaccines
Date:9/5/2011

ommended that routine medical visits be used for catch-up vaccinations, but not all health care providers are doing that. While more than half of 11- to 12-year-olds had had at least one vaccination visit to their doctor, nearly 20 percent failed to receive Td and/or Tdap vaccines; 61 percent did not get the meningococcal vaccine, which prevents infections such as meningitis; and 62 percent did not receive the HPV vaccine, the study showed.

In recent years, as some parents sounded a vaccination alarm, many public health officials worried about a potential resurgence of diseases that had been nearly eliminated by vaccines. Much of the anti-vaccine sentiment was fueled by a study -- since debunked -- linking the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism risk. In 2010, the British researcher who published the study was accused of fraud, and the journal that published it retracted it.

Vaccines also got a vote of confidence from a recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that showed that children's vaccines are safe, with bad reactions occurring only rarely. The IOM committee stated no evidence supports a connection between certain vaccines and autism or type 1 diabetes in kids.

But, some challenges still exist, Rodewald said, especially in terms of getting parents on board with the HPV vaccine recommendations. "Parents think, 'My daughter is 11 or 12 and clearly not engaged in behaviors that place her at risk for HPV,' but the whole point is to protect girls well in advance of the risky period," he said.

A recent CDC study showed that the rate of increase for the HPV vaccine among teens was less than half of that seen with other vaccines.

Dr. Armando G. Correa, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, pointed out that the number of vaccines recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds today far exceeds what was called for in the past. Teens also don't have as many well-visits as younger children, s
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