Vaccinating your children is one of the most important things you can do for their health and for the health of the community. But which vaccinations should your kids get, and when? The vaccination schedule may seem complicated and hard to remember, but help is available.
Here’s how to keep track.
You probably received a vaccination schedule at your first visit to your child’s pediatrician. Maybe you received a schedule when your baby was born.
But that was a piece of paper, and your life has probably been pretty busy since then. If you still have that print-out, file it with your other important papers, including your child’s immunization records. If your child is a MANA patient, you can view, download and print immunization records from their myMANA Health Portal.
If you don’t have that print-out handy, you can request another copy. You might want to do this even if you still have that first schedule since there could be changes. Recommendations change over time with new technology or changes in patterns of disease.
You can also find a vaccination schedule from the CDC online:
This schedule is recommended by CDC, AAP, AAFP, and ACOG, as well as by Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics.
The CDC also has a free app with the vaccination schedule. If you downloaded this app last year or earlier, go ahead and download the newest version.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has an app, too. Theirs helps you track many other aspects of your child’s health in addition to vaccinations. At this writing, it costs $2.99.
It can be difficult for busy families to keep track of a vaccination schedule. Fortunately, you will get reminders along the way. When you take your child for regular well-child visits, you’ll get a reminder about the vaccinations he or she needs.
If you haven’t kept up with your child’s immunizations, you will certainly be reminded when it’s time to start school or to go back to school. Arkansas schools and daycare centers require that children be up to date on their vaccinations if they want to attend school.
Find the law on vaccinations for Arkansas at the link below. On page 11, you will find a list of all required immunizations and when they must be completed.
Vaccinations are provided for free in Arkansas. The web pages for the Health Units in Washington County and Benton County are linked below:
What if you lost track?
If your child has missed an immunization, you will find that there is a catch-up schedule that will get him or her back on track. Your pediatrician can help you with this.
If you’re not sure whether your child has all his or her shots and you can’t find his or her immunization records, your doctor or the public health units listed above can help you get a new copy.