Every year over 25,000 babies are born in the State of Nebraska. Each of
these children starts with an immunization coverage level of zero.
It is important for a child to receive immunizations at the recommended time
on the schedule as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization
Preteen and Teen Vaccinations
Many parents think that kids are done with vaccinations before they are adolescents. However, there are vaccines that preteens and teens should get to stay healthy, and most states require certain vaccinations before school starts again in the fall.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV vaccines help protect both girls and boys from HPV infection and cancer caused by HPV. HPV vaccines can help prevent cervical cancer in girls as well as anal cancer and genital warts in boys and girls. Girls and boys who are 11 or 12 years old should receive three doses of the vaccine over six months. Parents of preteens and teens who haven’t gotten all 3 HPV shots should ask their doctor or nurse about getting their child vaccinated now.
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)
Meningococcal conjugate vaccine protects against some of the bacteria that can cause meningitis (swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord) and sepsis (an infection in the blood). Meningitis can be very serious, even fatal. Preteens need the MCV4 shot when they are 11 or 12 years old and then a booster shot at age 16. Teens who got the MCV4 shot when they were 13, 14, or 15 years old should still get a booster at 16 years. Older teens who haven't gotten any MCV4 shots should get one as soon as possible.
- Tdap vaccine
Tdap vaccine protects against 3 serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (also called whooping cough). The Tdap vaccine takes the place of what used to be called the tetanus booster. Preteens should get Tdap at age 11 or 12. If your teen didn't get a Tdap shot as a preteen, ask their doctor or nurse about getting the shot now.
- Flu vaccine
Flu vaccine protects against flu and the other health problems flu can cause, like dehydration (loss of body fluids), making asthma or diabetes worse, or even pneumonia. Preteens and teens should get the flu vaccine every year as soon as it's available, usually in the fall. It is very important for preteens and teens with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes to get the flu shot, but the flu can be serious for even healthy preteens and teens.
Vaccines contain the same germs that cause disease. (For example, measles vaccine contains measles virus, and Hib vaccine contains Hib bacteria.) But they have been either killed or weakened to the point that they don’t make you sick. Some vaccines contain only a part of the disease germ.
A vaccine stimulates your immune system to produce antibodies, exactly like it would if you were exposed to the disease. After getting vaccinated, you develop immunity to that disease, without having to get the disease first.
This is what makes vaccines such powerful medicine. Unlike most medicines, which treat or cure diseases, vaccines prevent them.
How to Find a Clinic
Public immunization clinics in Nebraska can offer vaccines either free of charge or for a small fee to people who qualify. These clinics
are located in various counties across the state. The Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines, at no cost, to enrolled public and private providers to give children aged birth through 18, who qualify. See the VFC Program page for more info.
To look up an individual’s immunization record, access the state registry (NESIIS)
. While the Nebraska Immunization program encourages all vaccine providers to input information into the state registry, some clinics are not using the system. In those cases, patients will have to contact the clinic where they received a vaccination to get copies of their records.