July 2010  

   

Back-to-School Immunizations…Beat the Rush!

 

Summer is well under way, and now is a good time to get your children immunized for the upcoming school year. One of the most important things parents can do to keep their children healthy – as well as their friends and classmates – is to make sure their children receive all of their recommended vaccinations on time. As children get older, protection from some of their childhood vaccines can begin to wear off. Keep them healthy by staying up to date with vaccines especially recommended for their age group.

Below is a list of the required vaccines for students attending a Texas school during the upcoming school year. Please be aware that students without the required immunizations or a valid exemption will not be allowed to attend school.
Vaccine requirements for students entering kindergarten through 12th grade:
  3 to 5 doses* of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP/DTP/DT/Td)
  3 to 4 doses* of polio
  2 doses* of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  3 doses of hepatitis B
  1 to 2 doses* of varicella
  1 booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) 10 years after the last dose of tetanus-diphtheria-containing vaccine
*To determine the specific number of doses that will be required, please refer to the document entitled 2010-2011 Minimum State Vaccine Requirements for Texas Students at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/docs/school/6-14_2010-2011.pdf.
Additional vaccine requirements for students entering kindergarten, 1st grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade:
  2 doses of hepatitis A for students entering K – 1st grade
  2 doses of varicella for students entering K – 1st and 7th – 8th grade
  1 booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) for students entering 7th grade, if at least five years have passed since the last dose of tetanus-diphtheria-containing vaccine
  1 dose of meningococcal for students entering 7th – 8th grade
For an easy way to keep track of your children’s immunization record, register them with the Texas Immunization Registry (ImmTrac). ImmTrac is a secure and confidential registry that helps consolidate your child’s immunization information from multiple providers to one centralized system. Registration is simple. A parent or legal guardian needs to sign a one-time written ImmTrac consent form at the child’s next vaccination visit. Only authorized professionals can access the child’s information and parents can request their child’s record anytime, at no cost.
Remember, beat the back-to-school rush and get your child immunized today. Make an appointment with your health care provider, visit a Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (HCPHES) public health clinic or a Harris County Hospital District (HCHD) community health center.
In addition to these HCPHES and HCHD facilities, Harris County Hospital District school-based clinics will be offering free immunizations from 1p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays from August 10 through August 31. Visit the facilities and directions page on the HCHD website for the locations of school-based clinics. The HCHD Troubleshooters Mobile Unit is also offering free immunizations this summer for children two months to 18 years of age. Click here to see when the mobile unit will be in your area.
For more information on back-to-school immunizations, contact Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services at 713-439-6000 or visit www.hcphes.org. You can also call the Harris County Hospital District at 713-873-8687, or visit http://www.hchdonline.com.
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Mosquito Season in Full Swing…Fight the Bite!

Hot, wet weather means more mosquitoes, and with more mosquitoes comes an increased risk of West Nile Virus. Harris County is home to 56 species of mosquitoes. While most are merely pests, the Culex mosquito is the predominant species in Harris County that carries West Nile Virus.

Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services encourages people to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats from their property and to take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Mosquito-Proof Your Property
  Don’t “feed” the storm drains. Sweep up lawn clippings, leaves and tree limbs.
  Remove or empty any containers such as flowerpots and toys, that can hold water. Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.
  Keep rain gutters free of debris.
  Make sure screens are in good condition.
Personal Protection
  If possible, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk.
  When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 and apply as directed on the label.
Most people who are infected with West Nile virus show no, or only mild, symptoms such as low-grade fever and headache. More severe symptoms can include high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, encephalitis, and, rarely, death. If you think you have been infected with the West Nile Virus, contact your family physician. Household pets can also be exposed to West Nile Virus. Contact your veterinarian for more information.
Enjoy the outdoors, but remember to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne disease.
For more information, visit www.hcphes.org or www.cdc.gov.
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