In an effort to help immunize children against 11 dangerous diseases before their second birthday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has begun a campaign called “OK By One.”
The “OK By One” campaign modifies Oklahoma’s childhood immunization schedule so that the fourth dose of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine, traditionally given at 15 months, is moved to 12 months of age, if six months have passed since the third dose.
“Fewer than half of Oklahoma’s children receive their fourth DTaP dose on schedule,” said OSDH Immunization Service Chief Don Blose. “This change will allow children to receive their fourth DTaP at 12 months of age, when most are already being seen by a health care provider for their 1-year-old well child checkup, instead of requiring that they return at 15 months for the fourth dose. By moving the date up, we can save parents an extra trip to the doctor.”
Blose said the change should also help improve Oklahoma’s national ranking for childhood immunizations. Oklahoma currently ranks near the bottom (48th) of states up-to-date on their childhood immunizations, primarily due to noncompliance with the fourth DTaP dose. Child health data show a significant reduction in well baby checks and immunization visits after a child turns 1 year of age.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma Immunization Advisory Committee collaborated on the new DTaP dosage strategy. Although the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that the fourth DTaP be given between 15-18 months of age, it does allow for the administration of the fourth DTaP as early as 12 months provided that six months have elapsed between a child’s third and fourth dose.
The modified schedule also complies with recommendations adopted by the American Academy of Pediatricians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Immunization Program, and the Oklahoma State Medical Association.
“We believe these changes will move Oklahoma into the forefront as leaders in the health of children for immunization compliance in the United States,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher. “You can help by asking your doctor how you can protect your child from 11 dangerous diseases by age 1.”
For parents who are uncertain what immunizations their children may need, the “OK By One” schedule is:
- Birth - Hepatitis B
- Age 2 months - Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae B, Pneumococcal Conjugate
- Age 4 months - Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae B, Pneumococcal Conjugate
- Age 6 months - Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus Influenzae B, Pneumococcal Conjugate
- Age 12 months - Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus Influenzae B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Pneumococcal Conjugate