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Ark. Dept. of Health pushes for child immunizations before school | News

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Ark. Dept. of Health pushes for child immunizations before school
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) --  We all want this school year to be a good experience for our children. Help keep your kids well and protect them against illnesses spread by other people. You can get vaccinations and check to see if their shots are up-to-date at your family doctor's office or at your local health unit.

While you're at it, this is the perfect time to make sure that everyone in the family is current on all the vaccine protections that they need.

• Seventh graders must have one dose of vaccine to prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap vaccine).
• Kindergarten children must have two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine even if they have already had chickenpox.
• Adults need protection against these diseases, too, according to Veronica McDaniel, administrator for Pulaski County Central local health unit, Arkansas Department of Health.
"It's the perfect time for your entire family and your friends to check up on their vaccinations. It is a very important part of protecting your family and your community from diseases that can be passed to other people," Ms McDaniel said.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that vaccines have wiped out smallpox, put an end to polio virus in the U.S. and greatly reduced the number of cases of measles, diphtheria, rubella, pertussis and other diseases. But even with these efforts, people still die from these and other diseases that vaccines can prevent.

Adults need immunizations, too. All adults should have these vaccines:

1. Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) - one dose is recommended after age 18
2. Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). If you were born after 1957 and have never had measles, mumps or rubella vaccine, you are at risk of infection.

Side effects from these diseases are often more severe for adults than for children. By getting the vaccine, you can avoid doctor bills and not miss time at work.

Local Health Units provide limited immunization services for adults, so please contact your local county health unit for more information

To make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date, talk to your family doctor or visit county health unit. For a complete schedule of adult vaccines visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/adult-schedule.htm.

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