Vaccinate now

Letters

Posted: Monday, January 22, 2001

In the fall of 2001 all children in Alaska public and private schools (including preschools) and licensed childcare facilities will be required to meet new immunization standards. In addition to existing immunization requirements that protect children against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, rubella and polio, children in grades K-12 will be required to be immunized against mumps, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Children in childcare facilities will need these immunizations plus shots to protect against haemophilus influenzae type B and chickenpox.

Many children have received some of these immunizations because they have been recommended for years. Almost all Alaska children have received mumps vaccine because it is a component of the MMR combination vaccine.

Don't wait until fall to make sure your child has the required vaccines. It may take more than one visit to receive all the needed doses. Schools and childcare facilities need time to update their records. Parents of children already vaccinated against these diseases need to take their child's shot records to the school or childcare facility. Children who have not received the vaccines before the start of school will not be allowed to attend until they at least begin receiving the vaccinations.

On Feb. 10 the Vaccinate Juneau's Kids Coalition, the Juneau Public Health Center and Bartlett Regional Hospital will sponsor free vaccinations at Valley Medical Care, 3220 Hospital Drive, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointment is necessary; please bring your child's shot records. Call 465-3353 or 1-888-430-4321 for more information or visit the state epidemiology Web site at www.epi.hss.state.ak.us.

Colleen McNulty

Public Health Nurse

Juneau Public Health Center



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