If you want to beat the back-to-school rush for getting your children immunized for the upcoming school year, start today by scheduling those appointments with health care providers or visiting the Texas County Health Department.
“Vaccinating our children against preventable diseases is one of the most important things parents and caregivers can do for their children. In the past 50 years, school vaccination laws have helped eliminate outbreaks from schools and assure our children and communities are safe from many dangerous diseases,” said Texas County Administrative Director Terri Salisbury, RN, BSN, MPH.
“We must continue to make sure our children are protected against preventable diseases,” added Salisbury. “When we don’t vaccinate, we leave the door open for the return for diseases such as measles, which continues to be a threat to children in the United States.”
From January 1 through April 25, 2008, there were 64 reports of confirmed measles cases in nine states. “That is the highest number of measles cases reported for the same time period since 2001,” said Salisbury. “So take the time to schedule your children soon for their back-to-school vaccinations,” “Immunization is one of the best ways to protect the health of your children against dangerous diseases. Without immunizations, children could catch diseases that cause heart defects, mental retardation, and pneumonia,” she urged.
The following immunizations are required for children entering childcare or school.
·Children entering childcare should be up-to-date for their age with:
· Hepatitis A vaccine, with the first dose due at 12 months of age and the second dose due six to 18 months later
· Three doses of hepatitis B vaccine by 19 months of age
· One dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine due at 12 to 15 months of age or a statement from the parent or doctor confirming the child had chickenpox disease
· One dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella vaccine) due at 12 to 15 months of age
· Four doses of DTaP at 2, 4, 6, and 12 to 18 months of age
· Three doses of IPV (polio vaccine) at 2, 4, and 6 to 18 months of age
· Two to three doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib) at 2, 4, and 6 months of age or 2 and 4 months of age depending on the type of Hib vaccine used. Children usually receive three to four doses of Hib vaccine, but due to a nationwide shortage of Hib vaccine, some children will not receive the third or fourth doses.
· One to four doses of PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) at 2, 4, 6 and 12 to 15 months of age
·Children entering pre-school must be up-to-date for all of the vaccines required for childcare, except Hib and PCV.
·All children entering kindergarten through the twelfth grade in Oklahoma are required to have:
· Two doses of MMR vaccine
· Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine
· Two or three doses of hepatitis B vaccine (Adolescents 11 through 15 years of age can receive a two-dose series)
· Five doses of DTaP/DTP
· Four doses of polio
· Children entering kindergarten through the tenth grade must also have:
· One dose of varicella vaccine or a statement from the parent or doctor confirming the child had chickenpox disease.
Even though the following vaccines are not required to attend school, they are recommended for children ages 11 years and older:
· A second dose of varicella vaccine
· A Tdap booster to protect against whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria, because immunity decreases with time
· Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) because the risk for this disease increases from 15 through 24 years of age
· Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls to prevent two types of the virus that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer.
Texas County Health Department offers walk-in immunizations every Tuesday & Wednesday beginning at 8am and at 1pm. We are located at 1410 N. East Street in Guymon. We will also have a special walk-in clinic with extended hours during the Texas County Children’s Health Fair, July 24th