Parents can ensure their children are protected from harmful diseases by taking advantage of regular schoolbased immunization clinics getting underway this fall,
according to a joint press release issued Tuesday by the BC Centre for Disease Control and Immunize BC.
The organizations are urging parents to review their child's immunization record and keep vaccination schedules up to date. Many students are now receiving vaccination information and school-based schedules from heir school's public health nurses.
Recent reports in B.C. of measles and pertussis (whooping cough) outbreaks point to the need to focus attention on the importance of vaccinations for all age groups, according to the release. Most kids in kindergarten or those starting high school need a booster shot for illnesses such as tetanus, chicken pox and meningitis group C. The current B.C. immunization schedule is comprised of vaccines that protect against 13 infectious diseases, including diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, haemophilus influenzae b, hepatitis B, meningococcal group C disease, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.
These vaccines are offered to a variety of age groups in schools but can also be requested at public health units, child health clinics and physicians' offices. To learn more about immunization programs in B.C, visit www.immunizebc.ca.
Vaccine facts: Immunization coverage rates have remained relatively constant in B.C. However, about one-third of B.C. children are not completely upto-date for all their routine infant and toddler immunizations by the time they turn two years of age.
In B.C., school-aged children are offered immunizations in grades 6 and 9. These immunizations are offered at school during clinics administered by public health nurses. Most regions of the province give school entry booster doses to children outside of school settings where they can be accompanied by their parent or guardian.
The following vaccines are routinely offered to all students in Grade 6: hepatitis B vaccine (children who have had three doses of hepatitis B vaccine when they were infants or before entering Grade 6 do not need the vaccine), meningococcal C vaccine (children who have had a meningococcal C containing vaccine at 10 years of age or older do not need the vaccine), chickenpox vaccine (children who have had two doses of chickenpox vaccine or chickenpox disease or shingles after one year of age do not need the vaccine), human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (offered to female students only, with two doses given in Grade 6 and a third dose in Grade 9) The following vaccines are routinely offered to all students in grade 9: tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccine and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (offered to female students only, with the third dose routinely given in Grade 9).
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