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After Hurricane Katrina: Update Vaccinations

Storm's Victims, Relief Workers May Need to Update Shots
WebMD Health News

Sept. 6, 2005 -- The CDC is urging Hurricane Katrina's victims and relief workers to get their vaccinations updated.

Doing so could help curb vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in hurricane-damaged areas and at relief centers in other states. Here is the CDC's guidance:

For Displaced Hurricane Survivors

If immunization records are available, children and adults should be vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedules for kids, teens, and adults.

Many people didn't have time to grab their medical records as they fled the storm. The CDC's advice for those people:

Kids younger than 6 years should be "forward vaccinated." They should be treated as if they were up-to-date with recommended immunizations and given any doses that are recommended for their current age. That includes:

  • Diphtheria/tetanus/whooping cough vaccine (DTaP)
  • Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (Hib)
  • Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB)
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
  • Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR)
  • Chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, if there's no history of chickenpox
  • Influenza vaccine for children aged 6 to 23 months and kids up to age 10 with a high-risk condition
  • Follow state immunization practices for hepatitis A, which isn't routinely recommended in all states.

Children and adolescents aged 11-18 should receive the following recommended immunizations:

  • Adult formulation diphtheria/tetanus/whooping cough vaccine (DTaP)
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) for ages 11-12 and 15 only
  • Influenza vaccine for those who are ill or 6 to 23 months old

Adults aged 18 and older should get the following recommended immunizations:

  • Adult formulation diphtheria/tetanus/whooping cough vaccine (DTaP)
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) for adults aged 65 and older or with a high-risk condition
  • Influenza vaccine for people aged 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities, people aged 2-64 who are ill, pregnant women, health care workers who provide direct patient care, and household contacts/day care workers for kids younger than 6 months

People in Crowded Group Settings

In addition to the routine vaccinations for each age group, the CDC is urging additional vaccinations for displaced people living in crowded group settings (such as shelters):

  • Influenza. Everyone who is at least 6 months old should get an influenza vaccine. Kids who are 8 years old or younger should get two doses, at least one month apart.
  • Chickenpox. Everyone who is more than 12 months old and born in the U.S. after 1965 should get one dose of the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine unless they have a history of chickenpox.
  • Measles-mumps-rubella. Everyone who is more than 12 months old and born after 1957 should receive one dose of the MMR vaccine.
  • Hepatitis A. Everyone who is at least 2 years old should receive one dose of the hepatitis A vaccine unless they have a clear history of hepatitis A.

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