Lesser known vaccinations

Bacterial meningitis

Vaccinations in Germantown, MDYou already know about flu shots, booster shots and the infant immunization schedule, but there are other vaccinations that you may also wish to consider.

Bacterial meningitis affects 1,000 to 1,200 people in the U.S. each year. It strikes suddenly. In children, it manifests as fever, lethargy, and difficulty eating or sleeping. In adults, the symptoms are similar, and also include headaches, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. It carries the risk of hearing loss and brain damage, but can be treated with antibiotics. A meningitis shot may be a good idea for a student going to college.

Travel vaccinations

Early in 2015, 29 Americans fell ill because of an outbreak of hepatitis A in Mexico. There are diseases in the world that seldom appear in America, and getting vaccinated against them is a precaution worth taking.

There are required and recommended travel vaccinations. Required travel vaccinations are those that you must have in order to enter certain countries. In some countries, for example, the government will insist that you take the yellow fever vaccine and meningitis vaccine before coming. The proof of these vaccines is called the International Certificate of Vaccination, or yellow card, and you will need it in order to enter. Recommended travel vaccinations, on the other hand, are not demanded by law but are still a good idea.

The best time to begin planning your vaccination schedule is as soon as you know where you plan to go. At the Traveler Information Center of the CDC Web site, you can find out which vaccines, if any, you will be required to take. You can also learn which travel vaccines are recommended for your destination. Some of these vaccines need to be given in two to three doses over the course of several months. This is why it is so important to plan ahead

Human papillomavirus

This virus is different in that it usually causes no major symptoms. However, certain forms of it can cause cancer. In the United States, 26,800 cases of cancer each year can be traced to this virus. Vaccination against it is not universal, but it is already widespread enough to cut the rate of HPV infections among teenage girls by over half. More immunization could defeat this disease entirely.

Immunization services in Germantown, MD

All these vaccinations can be obtained at Germantown Primary Care Associates, serving patients in Montgomery County, Germantown, Gaithersburg and Hyattstown. The Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Manbir Takhar, was recently voted one of the TOP doctors of 2015. Bring your insurance card, a valid photo ID, a list of any medications you are taking and any other medical information you might want to have. Download a copy of the registration form from their Web site for your first visit to speed up the process of checking in. Make an appointment today.