"Shot in the Dark (A Coffeehouse Mystery)" is a book by Cleo Coyle that's a strange brew of intrigue and tasty recipes.
"A Shot in the Dark" (1966) is a film with Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) that dishes up a riotous spoof on police drama.
But a shot in the arm — well, that's something to shine a light on as your adolescents head back to school.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the following vaccine recommendations for preteens and teens who haven't gotten these lifesavers:
• Quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine. All kids ages 11 and 12 need a single inoculation. At 16, they'll need a second shot, so that they stay protected when their risk is the highest. The vaccination protects against some bacteria that cause meningitis, which are infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, as well as bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia).
• Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. All boys and girls should finish the HPV vaccine series before they're 13. This helps prevent cancers of the cervix, throat, vagina, and penis.
• Tdap vaccine. This is a booster shot that continues protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also called "whooping cough"). As kids get older, the protection from the DTaP shot they got when they were much younger starts to wear off.
• Flu vaccine. Last but not least, all preteens and teens should get a flu shot every year by the end of October. If your child has asthma or diabetes, it is especially important because he or she is more likely to contract the flu and to have more serious complications from it.
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