Immunizations: What Parents Need to Know
Receive Vaccinations on Time
Making sure that children of all ages receive all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to ensure your children's long-term health - as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in your community. Vaccines are still needed because the bacteria and viruses that cause these diseases still exist. Vaccines have protected children and continue to protect children from getting these diseases.
To keep children in schools healthy, Texas Department of Health & Human Services develop requirements for children going to school to be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as measles or pertussis (whooping cough). If you're unsure of the state school requirements, now is the time to check with your child's doctor, your child's school, or your county health department. That way, you can get your child any vaccines he/she needs before the back-to-school rush.
Disease Outbreaks Still Happen
It's true that some vaccine-preventable diseases have become very rare thanks to vaccines. However, disease outbreaks still happen. Last year, 189 people from 24 states and the District of Columbia were reported to have measles. In 2014, the United States experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases from 27 states reported to CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD); this is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000. Additionally, nearly 10,000 cases of whooping cough were reported to CDC by 50 states and Washington, D.C. in 2014. These numbers represent a 24% increase compared with the same time period in 2013.
Outbreaks of whooping cough at middle and high schools can occur as protection from childhood vaccines fades. Those who are vaccinated against whooping cough but still get the disease are much more likely to have a mild illness compared to those who never received the vaccine. Making sure your children stay up to date with vaccinations is the best way to protect your communities and schools from outbreaks that can cause unnecessary illnesses and deaths.
Care Van Mobile Immunization Outreach
During the summer months of July and August, the Care Van Program will participate in several Back-to-School community events to help prepare thousands of students for the coming school year. As a participant of the VFC (Vaccines for Children) Program, the Care Van is able to provide immunizations at no cost to children who are on Medicaid, does not have insurance, has insurance that does not cover certain vaccines, or is American Indian/Native American or Alaskan Native. Immunization outreach is currently conducted in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Greater Houston regions. To find a van or event near you, visit our In Your Neighborhood page.
Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)