Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Look Ahead, Be Prepared: Immunization Update

Summer isn't quite over yet, but consider thinking ahead to fall when it comes to immunizing your kids. 

According to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), now is the time to get kids in to see their health care providers for required immunizations, yearly well-child checks, and sports physicals. 

Families can cut down on back-to-school stress by getting the right immunizations for their students well before school starts. Students who aren’t in compliance with required vaccines may be kept out of school if a disease epidemic occurs. 

Parents can find the immunization requirements to start school and attend child care online. There are new changes to the requirements this year for the chicken pox vaccine. It’s also important that kids are current on their whooping cough shots. The disease is spreading in Washington and everyone can play a part in stopping it.
"Now is the time to make sure you and your kids are fully vaccinated," said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. "Immunizations are the best tool we have to protect students from serious diseases that can spread quickly through schools."
Due to the recent outbreak of whooping cough cases, State Communicable Disease Epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist reiterated the importance of getting kids vaccinated against the preventable disease. 
"Whooping cough can be very dangerous for babies and young children. When school starts, whooping cough can spread easily from the classroom to the home. Making sure that all kids and pregnant moms are up to date with the right shots to prevent whooping cough can protect babies and families."
For more information about whooping cough in Washington, read DEL's previous blog post about it.
For a detailed update and sound advice on various kinds of vaccinations, check out the Department of Health's "Immunization and Child Profile Update". This is seasonal information about the flu, hepatitis, chicken pox requirement updates and more--including an informative Q & A with nurses.

Make educated choices about you and your family's health, consult your health care provider if you have questions. 

DOH notes on their vaccination page
"You research which car seat has the highest safety ratings, you read food labels, and you talk to your friends and family about how to find quality child care. Your choice to immunize is no different. Making an educated choice about immunization is critical to protecting you and your family’s health." 
No-cost vaccines are available for all kids up to age 19 through health care providers taking part in the state’s Childhood Vaccine Program. Participating providers may charge for the office visit and an administration fee to give the vaccine. People who can’t afford the administration fee can ask for it to be waived.

For help finding a health care provider or an immunization clinic, call your local health agency or the WithinReach Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

For up-to-date information on vaccinations and more, visit the Department of Health's website: www.doh.wa.gov. For general information about children's health visit DEL's health and nutrition page.

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