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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments

For Release: _____, 2006
Contact: __________
_____ County Health Department
(Phone)

“Immunize for Healthy Lives” Back-to-School Drive

If you want to beat the back-to-school rush for getting your children immunized for the school year, start today by scheduling those appointments with health care providers or visiting the __________ County Health Department.

“Immunization is one of the best ways to protect the health of your children against dangerous diseases. Without immunizations, children could catch diseases that cause heart defects, mental retardation, and pneumonia,” said ________ County Administrative Director __________.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Oklahoma State Department of Health stress that staying on schedule with childhood immunizations is the best defense against diseases such as whooping cough and measles.

The following immunizations are required for children entering childcare or school.

  • Children entering childcare should be up-to-date for their age with:
    • Hepatitis A vaccine, with the first dose on or after the first birthday, and the second dose 6 to 18 months later
    • Three doses of hepatitis B vaccine by 19 months of age
    • One dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine given on or after the first birthday, or a statement from the parent or doctor confirming the child had chickenpox disease
    • One dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella vaccine) given on or after the first birthday
    • DTaP at 2, 4, 6, and 12 - 18 months of age
    • IPV (polio vaccine) at 2, 4, and 6 - 18 months of age
    • Three to four doses of Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine (Hib) at 2, 4, 6, and 12 months of age
  • Children entering pre-school must be up-to-date for all of the vaccines required for childcare, except Hib. Hib vaccine is not required to attend pre-school.
  • All children entering kindergarten through the twelfth grade in Oklahoma are required to have:
    • Two doses of MMR vaccine
    • Two doses of hepatitis A vaccine
    • Two or three doses of hepatitis B vaccine (Adolescents 11 through 15 years of age can receive a two-dose series)
    • Five doses of DTaP/DTP (or four doses if the 4th dose was given on or after 4th birthday), except for eleventh and twelfth grades who need only three doses
    • Four doses of polio vaccine (or three doses if the 3rd dose was given on or after the 4th birthday), except for eleventh and twelfth grades who need only three doses
  • Children entering kindergarten through eighth grade must also have:
    • One dose of varicella vaccine or a statement from the parent or doctor confirming the child had chickenpox disease.

The new Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) booster vaccine is also available for adolescents at all county health departments and from health care providers. It is strongly recommended for all adolescents, even though Oklahoma’s school immunization law does not require it. This booster is especially important for those in contact with infants younger than 12 months of age.

College students who are first time enrollees and who will reside in on-campus student housing are required to have meningococcal vaccine. All college students are also required to have MMR and hepatitis B vaccines. These requirements do not apply to students enrolling in courses delivered via the Internet or through distance learning in which the student is not required to attend class on campus.

The following clinics have been scheduled in _______ County:
(Insert the date, time, and place of childhood immunization clinics scheduled in your county or area.)

For information about childhood immunizations, clinics scheduled in your area, or to find out about meningitis vaccinations for college students, call the ________ County Health Department at __________.


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