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San Diego Immunization Program

Back To School Means Making Sure Kids Are Immunized!

Many students are going back to school in a few months. Parents will be busy getting their children ready; it’s a time for new clothes, new schools supplies, and making sure that children have all the vaccines they need to enter school.

That last item may not be on every parent’s back to school list, but it should be. The pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic is a strong reminder that kids need vaccine protection against that disease. In fact, a booster dose of the Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) will now be required for 7th through 12th grade school entry starting in July 2011. 

Health officials also want to remind parents that there are other diseases against which children need to be immunized. They include tetanus, measles and chickenpox. And some of these immunizations are required before the child can enter school.

Also, there are several immunizations that adolescents and teens should get to protect them from some serious diseases. Depending on their age, these kids may need a shot for meningitis, a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) booster (this is even more important for children and adults during the present pertussis epidemic in California), a second chickenpox shot, the HPV vaccine series and an annual flu shot.

Find out what immunizations your children need by talking to your doctor or other regular source of health care. You can also check the San Diego Regional Immunization Registry (SDIR), part of the California Immunization Registry (CAIR). SDIR is a web-based, immunization tracking system that allows health care providers and other authorized users to access an individual’s record of immunizations and thereby determine what additional vaccines he or she needs. Currently, more than 120 sites in San Diego County actively access the SDIR and the list grows daily.

You can call the Registry Staff at (619) 692-5656 during business hours with your child’s full name and date of birth to check if the Registry contains your child’s immunization records (you can check for your own immunization records, too). You’ll need your children’s full names and dates of birth. You can also register for access to a secure site to download your own or your children’s immunization records from the Registry.

When you find out what immunizations your children need, make sure they get those shots as soon as possible - preferably before school starts.

Start the school year off on a healthy note! Make sure your children are up to date on their immunizations!

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