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The Center for Disease Control and the Advisory Committee on Immunization practices recently released the new 2013 immunization schedule. This should help make it easier for health care providers and parents to follow the recommended vaccine schedules. What's new? The childhood vaccine schedule is now one simple list for children from birth to 18 years of age. A catch-up schedule was also released for any child who fell behind in their vaccinations or may have started late. More emphasis is being placed on children between 4 and 6 and early teen years. Also new? The recommendation for pregnant moms including teen moms, to receive a Tdap vaccine in their 2nd or 3rd trimester to protect their newborns from pertussis also known as whooping cough. Whooping cough cases have been on the rise with 41,000 cases reported in 2012. Infants up to three months are at the greatest risk of dying from whooping cough because they are too young to have immunity. Remember, infectious diseases such as measles and whooping cough are just a plane ride away and can be deadly. Talk to you pediatrician to make sure your child's vaccines are up to date. I'm Dr. Sue with TKD helping parents take charge.