Elizabeth Cozine, M.D.: Vaccination prevents a child from getting an illness. It also prevents them from spreading an illness.
Jason Howland: Dr. Elizabeth Cozine, a Mayo Clinic family physician, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a standard immunization schedule for school-age children that begins with ages 4 to 6.
Dr. Cozine:…which we think of as kindergarten shots. So that's measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.
Jason Howland: She says the next set of routine immunizations is at age 11…
Dr. Cozine:…which is tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and the meningococcal immunization.
Jason Howland: It's also recommended every child get an annual flu shot. And HPV vaccination, which prevents cancer, can start as early as age 9. Dr. Cozine says it's important to educate families on the importance of childhood vaccinations. She likens it to seat belt safety.
Dr. Cozine: Immunizations are no different. If we have opportunities to protect our children against serious illness and potentially even death, even if the risk of that illness or the risk of death from that illness is really quite low, I'm all for it.
Jason Howland: For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Jason Howland.