July 2012  

   
Back-to-School Immunizations…Beat the Rush!

The 2012-2013 school year will soon be here, and one of the most important things parents can do to keep their children healthy is to make sure they receive all the recommended vaccinations on time. Be aware, as children get older, protection from some of their childhood vaccines can begin to wear off.
The following is a list of the required vaccines for students who will attend a Texas school during the upcoming school year. Students without the required immunizations or a valid exemption will not be allowed to attend school.

Vaccines Required for Students Entering Kindergarten Through 12th grade:

3-5 doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP/DTP/DT/Td)
3-4 doses of polio
2 doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
3 doses of hepatitis B
1-2 doses of varicella
1 booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) 5-10 years after the last dose of tetanus-diphtheria-containing vaccine, depending on grade level

In addition, requirements for hepatitis A, varicella, Tdap and meningococcal vaccines are being phased in by grade level.  For a complete schedule, please review the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) 2012-2013 Immunization Requirements chart at
http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtm#schools. 

Contact your child’s health care provider for help in determining which vaccines your child needs and the number of required doses.

Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) provides immunizations by appointment at the following health clinics:

Antoine Health Clinic 
5815 Antoine, Suite A
Houston, Texas 77091
Tel. # (713) 602-3300
8:00 AM—5:00 PM
Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Baytown Health Clinic 
1000 Lee Drive
Baytown, Texas 77520
Tel. # (281) 427-5195
8:00 AM—5:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday

Humble Health Clinic    
1730 Humble Place Drive
Humble, Texas 77338
Tel. # (281) 446-4222
8:00 AM—5:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday

Southeast Health Clinic  
3737 Red Bluff Road 
Pasadena, Texas 77502
Tel. # (713) 740-5000
8:00 AM—5:00 PM
Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Vaccinations for College Students

College students also need to be up-to-date on immunizations.  A student entering college must show that he received an initial bacterial meningitis vaccination dose or booster during the five-year period preceding the first day of the first semester.  The vaccination or booster must be received no later than 10 days before that first day of class.  Contact your health care provider for more information.

The Texas Immunization Registry (ImmTrac) is a secure and confidential registry that helps combine your child’s immunization information from multiple providers to one centralized system.  It’s simple to register your child.  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 a parent can request their child’s record anytime, at no cost.  Encourage your physician to participate in ImmTrac.

The Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) helps provide vaccines to children who are on Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or uninsured.  To locate a VFC provider in the Harris County area, contact the Texas Department of State Health Services at 713-767-3000 or dial 2-1-1.

For more information about immunizations, please visit www.hcphes.org or call 713-439-6000.

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The Immunization Partnership Strives
to Increase Immunization Rates

Receiving immunizations on schedule is critical to preventing the outbreak of various diseases.  It is more beneficial to prevent a disease by receiving appropriate vaccines than it is to treat the disease once it has been diagnosed. 

The Houston-Harris County Immunization Registry Board of Directors, in 2007, recognized the importance of expanding its strategies in order to achieve and maintain high immunization rates.  The board developed a new name and mission to reflect the broader scope of the organization.  The organization became The Immunization Partnership (TIP).  TIP aims to eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases by developing and coordinating community resources through public and private partnerships. 

The greater Houston area’s immunization rates have increased from 11% in 1991 to 73% in 2010.  This increase has been attributed to multiple collaborative initiatives including increased public awareness, increased physician and nurse education, and increased immunization registry use.  Immunization registries allow children’s shot records to be viewed by authorized medical personnel and indicate vaccines that are due, thereby keeping kids protected and avoiding duplicate immunizations.  This saves healthcare dollars and prevents disease outbreaks.  TIP encourages the use of the Texas Immunization Registry, ImmTrac.

As part of its evolution into an organization that supports broader immunization issues, TIP has developed a community-wide program to educate individuals, parents and providers about the importance of on-time immunizations.  TIP provides this education through Community Immunity, a 10-minute, hands-on activity that demonstrates the importance of immunization and how quickly disease spreads in today’s society.  Community Immunity is done in partnership with Rotary Clubs around Houston and focuses on the flu and pertussis vaccines.  Several Rotarians have been trained as immunization ambassadors and present the program to other Rotary clubs, businesses, community groups and faith-based organizations.  These immunization ambassadors and TIP staff have presented this exercise to more than 4,100 people.  If you would like to bring Community Immunity to your organization, or if you are interested in becoming an immunization ambassador, please contact The Immunization Partnership at 281-400-3689.

The Immunization Partnership is looking for volunteers with various skills.  They are especially in need of volunteers to assist with legal services, auditing services, bookkeeping services, printing services and clerical services. 

They are also looking for volunteers to serve on various committees.  The committees include:

  • Executive Committee
  • Education
  • Marketing
  • Fund Development
  • Advocacy and Public Policy
  • Advisory Council
  • Finance
  • Legal

Individuals or organizations interested in volunteering or providing in-kind services, should contact Jennifer Farmer at 281-400-3689. 

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