2007-08-10 / Community

DOH Urges Parents To Take Care ofVaccinations

The New York City Health Department is reminding parents that all children must receive certain vaccinations before they begin or return to school or day care this fall. Childhood vaccinations required for school entry protect against potentially life-threatening diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, pertussis (whooping cough) and chicken pox. All children entering school must also show proof of having received a complete medical evaluation. Children in day care, pre-K or kindergarten through 12th grade who do not meet the immunization requirements will not be permitted to attend school. The complete list of required immunizations is available at www.nyc.gov/html/doh/ downloads/pdf/scah scah0708.pdf or by calling 311. New York City public schools reopen on September 4.

New Requirements for 2007-2008 School Year

The Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) is now a requirement for students entering the grade six, and who are at least 11 years old. This is the first year this vaccine has been required.

Children in day care, pre-K, kindergarten through 4th grade, or 6th through 8th grades, must now have a chicken pox vaccine to attend school (4th and 8th grades were added this year). It is now recommended that all children receive two doses of the varicella vaccine to prevent chicken pox.

Vaccinations are still the safest and most effective way to prevent childhood diseases. August is also National Immunization Awareness Month, and all New Yorkers are encouraged to check their immunization status.

"Make sure that your child is up-to-date before school starts," said Dr. Jane R. Zucker, Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Immunization at the New York City Health Department. "School vaccination requirements protect your child and all students against preventable, life-threatening diseases. Now is the time to make a doctor's appointment to get up-to-date. If you don't have insurance or need a provider, call 311 to find a vaccination clinic."

While it is not required for school attendance, the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer is now routinely recommended for girls at 11 to 12 years of age. (It can be given as early as age 9 and should be given to any females who are unvaccinated as early as possible up to age 26.) The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today in New York City the launch of a national campaign to promote pre-teen vaccination. The campaign will educate parents and providers about vaccinations that can protect 11- and 12-year-olds, including those for HPV (for girls), meningitis, whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.

Check with your child's regular doctor about the vaccines they need and make an appointment. Children four years of age and older can receive the required vaccinations at Health Department walk-in immunization clinics in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. For locations, visit http:// www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/imm/immclin. shtml.

The NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) also offers childhood immunizations at its Child Health Centers around the city.

For locations, visit http://www.nyc. gov/html/hhc/html/ community/childhealth.shtml.

Update on Vaccines to Protect People of All Ages

Several new vaccines are now recommended to protect people of all ages. These include:

• Rotavirus vaccine to protect infants against a severe

type of diarrhea • HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine to protect girls

and women (ages 9 -26 only) from the virus that

causes cervical cancer • Meningococcal vaccine for adolescents • Zoster vaccine to help protect adults ages 60 and

over against developing shingles

Flu season is also just around the corner. This year, anyone who wants a flu shot can get one. As always, an annual flu shot is recommended for groups at high risk including people over 50, children aged 6 months to 5 years old, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions and all health care workers.

You can find information about your family's immunization requirements, obtain a copy of your child'simmunization record or locate the nearest immunization clinic by calling 311.

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