Childhood Immunization Month
April 1, 2010
Parents Urged Not to Delay Immunizations
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proclaimed April Childhood Immunization Month to highlight the importance and benefits of immunizations. Effective March 2010, Virginia legislation has changed some school entrance requirements to include:
- A second dose of varicella before entering kindergarten
- A second dose of mumps before entering kindergarten
- Four doses of polio, with 1 dose administered after the 4th birthday, for all new children enrolling kindergarten-12th grade
- Four doses of DTaP, with 1 dose administered after the 4th birthday, for all new children enrolling kindergarten-12th grade
Details about the new school immunization requirements are posted on the Virginia Department of Health's Web site.
"Vaccines help prevent infectious diseases and save lives," says Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H., Fairfax County Director of Health. "It is important that all parents keep their child's vaccinations current to prevent disease and protect the health of our community, especially those who are not immunized".
The current immunization compliance rates in Fairfax County are 95 percent for school aged children and 78 percent for the 2 year old population. There is still much work to be done to achieve immunizations goals. The local health care system is working to increase compliance rates through education and outreach.
Each year, the Fairfax County Health Department sees a spike in the number of parents seeking vaccinations for their children during the last three weeks of August. Parents are encouraged to review immunization requirements now and to visit their health care provider or a health department clinic before the last minute rush just before school begins. Information about health department clinic is posted online at the Health Department's Immunization information page or parents can call 703-246-2411.
It is especially important for infants and toddlers in our community to receive their immunizations on time. Health care providers across the country will be observing National Infant Immunization Week, April 24-May 1, 2010. Parents can create an instant immunization schedule by visiting the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web site.