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Immunizations: Not Fun, But Not to Be Forgotten

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As parents get their children ready to go back to school, they should remember to add one important item to the to-do list: making sure their children are up-to-date with all required shots.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and the perfect opportunity to make sure children and adults have had all the recommended shots.

Protecting the health of San Diego County residents is a priority for the County’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).

“Vaccines give children and adults a fighting chance to prevent potentially dangerous diseases,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County of San Diego Public Health Officer

In California, children need proof that they are up-to-date with their shots or they may be kept out of school or child care when certain diseases occur. The requirements vary depending on the child’s age and grade level. Every year, chicken pox, whooping cough, and other vaccine-preventable diseases make their presence known at local schools. Easily spread among groups of children, these diseases may be prevented or lessened with vaccines.

“It is also important for teens and adults to have their vaccination records updated to prevent against disease,” said Karen Waters-Montijo, M.P.H., chief of the HHSA Immunizations Branch.

“Due to air travel, disease can hitch a ride anywhere, anytime, without a passport. Get vaccinated and protect yourself, your family, friends…the entire community."

Parents can make sure their child is up-to-date by reviewing the child’s yellow California Immunization Record Card or other shot records and by calling the child’s doctor. A list of required and recommended shots can be found at the San Diego Immunization Branch Web site at www.sdiz.org.

To help manage immunization records, people are encouraged to enter them into the San Diego Regional Immunization Registry (SDIR), which is part of the California Immunization Registry. The Registry is a secure, confidential database that allows participating doctors, clinics and schools to check immunization records.

To learn more about shots and how to participate in the Immunization Registry, visit www.sdiz.org/sdir, or call the SDIR Help Desk at (619) 692-5656.


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