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FOR RELEASE: July 1, 2004
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications

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

Don’t wait until the last minute to start planning for your children’s back-to-school needs, especially their vaccinations. That’s the message from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), McDonald’s, Fox/WB (Warner Brothers), the Oklahoma Caring Van, and local Immunization Coalitions across the state as they launch a back-to-school immunization drive this month.

In a campaign called “Immunize for Healthy Lives,” parents will be encouraged to make certain they stay on schedule with their children’s immunizations so that Oklahoma’s children are fully immunized against dangerous childhood diseases like measles and whooping cough.

Oklahoma’s First Lady Kim Henry will be featured in public service announcements and news articles that reach out to parents while immunization field staff throughout the state will be reminding parents through telephone messages, written reminders, and child care center visits to get their children immunized now and avoid the back-to-school rush.

Participating Oklahoma McDonald’s restaurants will be providing immunization information to their customers on tray liners and bag stuffers. McDonald’s will also offer a flyer or immunization schedule placemat during the campaign. In addition, McDonald’s will provide Oklahoma’s participating physicians’ offices and county health departments with coupons good for free “Apple Dippers” to reward children for getting immunized. Apple Dippers are a new product at McDonald’s, featuring fresh apple slices and a low-fat caramel dipping sauce.

The Caring Van, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, and Fox/WB will assist by setting up special immunization clinics to encourage parents to get their children immunized. The Caring Vans are based out of Oklahoma City and Tulsa and have the flexibility of providing on-site immunizations for child care centers, schools and other facilities across the state.

This is the third year the “Immunize for Healthy Lives” campaign has been conducted in Oklahoma.

“Without immunizations, children may catch diseases that cause heart defects, mental retardation, and pneumonia. Immunizations can protect your children against 12 dangerous diseases,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher. “I hope all parents and caregivers will join us in our efforts to protect the health of children.”

The following immunizations are required for children entering day care or school:

  • Children entering day care should have age-appropriate immunizations such as two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, with the first dose on or after the second birthday, and the second dose 6 to 18 months later; three doses of hepatitis B vaccine; and one dose of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine given on or after the first birthday, or a parent’s statement of a history of the disease (chickenpox) will be accepted instead of vaccination. Other vaccines required for day care attendance based upon the child’s age include MMR (measles, mumps, rubella); DTaP or DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis); polio; and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).
  • Children entering pre-school should have received four doses of DTaP or DTP; three doses of polio vaccine; one dose of MMR; three doses of hepatitis B; two doses of hepatitis A; and one dose of varicella or a statement of history of the disease.
  • Children entering kindergarten, through sixth grade should have received five doses of DTaP/DTP (or four doses if the 4th dose was given on or after 4th birthday); four doses of polio vaccine (or three doses if the 3rd dose was given on or after the 4th birthday); two doses of MMR; three doses of hepatitis B; two doses of hepatitis A; and one dose of varicella or a statement of history of the disease (chickenpox).
  • Children entering seventh and eighth grades should have received everything the younger children have received except for the varicella vaccine. Seventh and eighth grade children may receive two or three doses of hepatitis B vaccine (depending on type of vaccine).
  • Children entering the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades should have received three doses of DTP; three doses of polio; two doses of MMR; two or three doses of hepatitis B vaccine (depending on type of vaccine); and, two doses of hepatitis A vaccine.

Beginning this fall, first-time college enrollees who plan to live on-campus will be required to get meningitis vaccination.

For information about childhood immunizations, clinics scheduled in your area, or to find out about the meningitis vaccinations for college students, call your county health department or health care provider.


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