Gardasil (a product of Merck) is a vaccine that protects against 4 strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause cervical cancer and venereal warts. Cervarix (a product of GlaxoSmithKline) protects against 2 strains of human papillomavirus that can prevent most cervical cancers. HPV vaccine is routinely recommended for girls and boys 11-12 years of age through the age of 26 and is given in a 3-dose series. The vaccine has proven to be more effective if administered before the first sexual encounter. Giving the vaccine to young girls can prevent most cases of cervical cancer. Gardasil can also prevent anal, penile and some throat cancers in males.

Rotavirus is a virus that causes severe diarrhea, mostly in babies and young children. It can also be accompanied by vomiting and fever. Children can get rotavirus by being around other children with the disease. Rotavirus vaccines: (Rotateq a product of Merck is administered as a 3 dose series) and (Rotarix a product of GlaxoSmithKline is administered as a 2 dose series). This vaccine is the best way to protect your child from the disease. It is given by mouth and started at age 2 months. The series must be completed by 32 weeks of age.

Varicella (chickenpox) is a common childhood disease and highly contagious. It can be a very serious disease, especially for infants and adults. Two doses are now recommended to be given at 1 year and again at 4 years along with the other booster doses. Older children who only received one dose of Varivax should receive a second dose.

Meningococcal meningitis is a potentially deadly infectious disease caused by bacteria. It is a leading cause of meningitis in children 2-18 years of age, although it can affect anyone. Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) is the preferred vaccine for people 11-55 years of age. Menactra (a product of Sanofi Pasteur) and Menveo (a product of Novartis) is administered at age 11-12 years and followed by a booster dose at age 16-18 years.

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