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August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Learn about vaccines so you can make the best choice for your kids.

 Find everything you need to know.

Asked by Anonymous

what are the tetanus booster guidelines

Tetanus, sometimes called “lockjaw,” causes painful muscle spasms and stiffness. Tetanus kills about 1 out of 5 people who are infected.

Two vaccines are available to protect people age 7 and older from tetanus:

  • The Td vaccine protects against tetanus and diphtheria. Adults should get a Td booster dose every 10 years.
  • The Tdap vaccine protects against pertussis as well as tetanus and diphtheria. Children should get a Tdap booster vaccine at 11 or 12 years of age. Adults should get a one-time shot of the Tdap vaccine in place of one Td shot.

Learn more about tetanus vaccines.

Asked by Anonymous

who should get "shingles" vaccination

Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you’ve ever had chickenpox, then you have the virus in your body. You might not have problems until you are older and the virus reappears as shingles. 

There is a shingles vaccine that is recommended for people who are age 60 and over. The vaccine won’t cure shingles, but it can prevent or lessen the symptoms. Learn more about the shingles vaccine.

Back to School is Easier with Help from the Government

The start of a new school year is an important time for planning and preparation. For millions of children and teenagers, it’s time to plan new academic schedules and activities. For parents and guardians it’s a good time to plan financial support for school-aged children. There are several programs and resources available for families who qualify for federal assistance, including low cost lunches and affordable health insurance.

National School Lunch Program

Children who eat well perform better at school. That’s why the National School Lunch Program provides free, low-cost and nutritional lunches to eligible students (usually children from a family of four that makes about $29,055-$41,348 per year).

Enrollment is open year-round, so this program is especially useful if your family has had a sudden loss of income, say, due to a family member losing his or her job.

Some key facts about the program:

  • It’s open for children up to 18 years of age
  • It’s offered at daycare centers, public schools and private nonprofit schools enrolled in the program
  • School lunches meet federal nutritional requirements, which means they limit fats and saturated fats and provide one third of the recommended dietary allowances of proteins necessary for a healthy diet
  • Schools usually send application notices at the beginning of the school year. However, you can enroll at any time by filling out a form and submitting it to the school

Subsidized Health Care for Children

Health insurance is important to ensure regular check-ups and preventive care, as well as emergency treatment, for your child.

You can find affordable health care for your children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Although each state manages its own program, it is generally open to families of four that make up to $44,100 per year.

This program offers many benefits, including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Prescription drugs
  • Emergency care
  • Dental services

You can get more information about this program by calling 1 (877) 543-7669 or visiting InsureKidsNow.gov.

Also, keep in mind that students going to college can remain on their parent’s health insurance policy until the age of 26 because of new provisions in the Affordable Health Act.

Get Your Children Vaccinated

Vaccines are important not only for the health of your child, but also for his or her classmates. Last year there were outbreaks of whooping cough and measles, which caused dozens of deaths among adults and children. Vaccinations could have helped prevent those outbreaks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have several vaccination resources including vaccination calendars that tell you which vaccines are needed and when.