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Everyone should ensure immunizations are current
ARLINGTON — With the start of the new school year coming up, the Cascade Valley Hospital’s Arlington Pediatrics Clinic is gearing up for immunizations, but with whooping cough still an ongoing problem throughout the state, especially in Arlington and Marysville, Dr. Rosana Go is encouraging everyone to make sure their immunizations are up-to-date, regardless of the time of year.
“Everyone should be immunized against pertussis, especially adults who take care of children,” Go said. “I hope that enough people will heed the call for immunizations that we’ll see less of an epidemic. People used to be afraid of the side-effects of the vaccine, but it’s improved so much since then.”
For all children, Go recommended a course of immunizations for the more standard ailments on a schedule of vaccinations within the first two years, and booster shots around kindergarten, between the ages of 4-6.
“This is to prevent diseases like diphtheria, measles, mumps and chicken pox,” Go said. “Last year, we actually had a mild epidemic of measles, so parents need to be proactive. There are always mild side-effects, but they rarely become major issues.”
Go recommends the next set of booster shots around the ages of 10-11, during which time children may be administered the Tdap vaccine, which protects against not only diphtheria and tetanus, but also pertussis. Prior to that point, children need to be immunized against those three diseases through the DTaP vaccine, with the first three shots being administered at 2, 4 and 6 months of age, the fourth shot between 15-18 months, and the fifth shot when the child enters school, between 4-6 years of age.
While a number of clinics and locations offer sports physicals for students, Go recommended that families continue to take their children to the pediatricians who have treated them since they were younger.
“Those pediatricians are more likely to know those children’s family histories and whether they suffer from any problems like heart conditions or allergies,” Go said.
The impact of diseases such as measles or chicken pox are not limited to the young, however, since Go noted that adults who haven’t been immunized against those diseases run the risk of spreading them to children. For this reason, not only does the Arlington Pediatrics Clinic administer vaccines to students as part of their back-to-school physicals, but also during flu season.
“We’re always very receptive to giving our patients any vaccines they might have missed,” Go said. “Call us for physicals, and we’ll be very accommodating.”
Go laughed as she noted that the Arlington Pediatrics Clinic recently underwent a remodel that temporarily displaced the tropical fish tank that was popular with a number of their younger patients, so the clinic invited the kids to color their own fishes and paste them on the wall.
“Our staff is very friendly and available to talk,” Go said.
The Cascade Valley Hospital Arlington Pediatrics Clinic is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Suite 130 at 875 Wesley St. in Arlington. For more information, log onto www.cascadevalley.org/clinics/moreinfo.php?c=pediatrics.