Immunizations have become a hot button issue over the past several years, as concerns grow over the potential side effects, particularly the development of autism. Fortunately, research has largely disproven these claims, and most parents understand that the benefit of immunizations to both their own children and society as a whole outweigh any potential risk. Nonetheless, the importance of timely vaccinations cannot be overstated, especially for infants or those children who will be back to school in the fall. In honor of the upcoming National Immunization Awareness Month, here are answers to some common questions that parents may have.
When Should my Child be Immunized?
The Center for Disease Control provides a detailed schedule of immunizations and intervals at which they should be performed to best safeguard your child’s health. You can access that schedule by clicking here. Most of these immunizations will occur between birth and six years of age.
What Immunizations Must my Child have to Attend School in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, up-to-date vaccinations are required by law in order to attend school or daycare. These include immunizations against diseases such as polio, measles, and chickenpox. See the complete list by clicking here.
Who can Perform my Child’s Immunizations?
In most cases, your child will receive their immunizations from their pediatrician, under your health insurance. However, the Vaccines for Children Program provided through the LDH Office of Public Health provides vaccinations for children who are uninsured, Medicaid eligible, or who are identified as American Indian or Alaskan Native. To learn more about this program, click here.
Where can I access my Child’s Shot Record?
There are many circumstances, including school enrollment which will require an up-to-date record of all of your child’s immunizations. In Louisiana, you may access your child’s record through your healthcare provider, the parish health unit, the OPH immunization program, or online by clicking here.
Timely vaccinations are among the most effective steps we can take to proactively protect our children and our communities against outbreaks of preventable but often deadly viruses. If you have questions or concerns about immunizations, speak with your healthcare provider to learn more about their safety and importance.