Monday, August 12, 2013

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Working in a pediatrician's office and now a public school, I am constantly reviewing vaccine records to ensure that children are up to date on their vaccines.  All students entering public school in Texas (and elsewhere) need to have a tetanus booster (TDaP), their first meningitis vaccine, two doses of Varicella (chicken pox) and two doses of Hepatitis A before they can attend seventh grade.  It's also not too early to get flu vaccine for the coming season; Flumist is being distributed to providers already, with injectable flu vaccine not too far behind.

Vaccines can be received as part of the yearly well child exam, at some pharmacies or clinics inside grocery stores/drug stores, or in free clinics offered in certain areas.  Local health departments give vaccines, as well.  Texas discontinued their free Shots Across Texas program in 2012 due to less children qualifying for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so I want to remind parents to keep a current copy of your child's vaccines and review them annually to ensure there are none needed.  If your child has yearly wellness exams, your doctor will review his/her vaccine record at that visit.

Here are some good resources with information regarding vaccines:


  1. Very good to know, do the number of vaccines children should get, fluctuate from year to year?

    1. The recommended vaccine schedule does not change from year to year, but as vaccines received as infants have been added over the years, the required immunizations by grade level change slightly each year. There haven't been any new vaccines added in several years, though.

  2. One thing I forgot to mention are the many free resources available on the different states' Departments of State Health Services, as well as the CDC or You can order Vaccine Information Statements, recommended vaccine schedules, or educational posters from them, and all are FREE!


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