Woodward County Health Department is urging parents and caregivers to check their children’s immunization records to make sure they’re current for the approaching school year.

The vaccinations are required before students can attend school, Administrative Director Terri Salisbury said, noting this is in an effort "to prevent the spread of disease.”

“It’s one of the most important ways to protect children,” Salisbury said.

To provide assistance, the Health Department is offering walk-in immunizations every Monday between 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Salisbury said.

Required vaccinations prevent life-threatening illnesses, such as pneumonia, meningitis, tetanus or lock jaw, and whooping cough, Salisbury said.

The vaccinations also protect from debilitating diseases such as rubella, which can cause deafness and blindness, and polio, which causes paralysis, she said.

“Measles, mumps and rubella vaccines also reduce the number of deaths,” Salisbury said.

Another one of the vaccinations prevents Hib, a type of flu that travels through the blood stream to many body sites leading to meningitis and other serious illnesses, she said.

Vaccinations are required for children as young as 2 months on up to adulthood in order to attend school, Salisbury said. She noted various types of vaccinations are given at different ages because testing has shown the shots are more effective at preventing disease at those ages.

“And there again, that’s why some of the shots require more than one dose,” she said, noting some vaccinations require multiple doses to be effective.

Parents of children are required to present vaccination records to school officials before they can enroll, Salisbury said. College students in Oklahoma are required to present those records as well.

IMMUNIZATIONS FOR CHILD CARE BABIES

A list of immunizations children need follows:

Children entering child care:

• 2-part Hepatitis A vaccine with the first dose due at 12-months-old and the second one due 6 to 18 months later.

• 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine by 19-months-old.

• 1 dose of varicella or chickenpox vaccine by 12- to 15-months-old or a statement from a doctor confirming the child had chickenpox.

• A  dose of MMR or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine by 12- to 15-months-old.

• 4 doses of DTaP or diphtheria,tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) at 2-, 4-, 6-months-old and 12- to 18-months-old.

• 3 doses of IPV or polio vaccine at 2-, 4-, and 6-months-old to  18-months-old.

• 2 to 3 doses of Hib vaccine at 2- , 4-, and 6-months-old or 2-and 4-months-old, depending on the type of Hib vaccine used.

• 1 to 4 doses of PCV or pneumococcal conjugate vaccine at 2-, 4-, 6-, and 12- to 15-months-old.

Children entering preschool must be up to date for all the vaccines required for childcare, except Hib and PCV.

VACCINATIONS FOR STUDENTS

All children in kindergarten through 12th grade:

• 2 doses of MMR vaccine.

• 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine.

• 2 or 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine.

• 5 doses of DTaP/DTP vaccine.

• 4 doses of polio vaccine.

• 1 dose of varicella vaccine or a statement from the parent or doctor confirming the child had chickenpox.

Vaccinations recommended but not required for children 11-years-old and older:

• A second dose of varicella vaccine.

• A Tdap booster to protect against whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria.

• Meningococcal conjugate vaccine.

• Human papillomavirus (HPV) for girls to prevent two types of virus that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer.

College students are required to have:

• MMR vaccine.

• Hepatitis B vaccines.

• MCV or meningococcal vaccine if a first-time student living on campus.

College requirements do not apply to students learning on-line or through distance learning.

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