Help children stay current with vaccines

If children are part of your practice, we encourage you to work closely with their parents or guardians to keep them up to date on vaccinations. Adults don't always know the appropriate immunization schedule, and may rely on a provider or provider's office for reminders. They also may not be aware of the health risks involved in delaying or skipping one or more vaccinations in a series. We encourage you to speak openly and honestly with your patients about the benefits of vaccinating – for their own children as well as the health of the larger community.

Research has shown that the fourth shot for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – or DTap – is the most forgotten. Children should have this fourth shot in the series before their second birthday. It is usually offered at the 18-month-old well-child visit.

Providence Health Plans members have access to myProvidence, where they can securely store and track medical records online, including immunizations, for themselves and their family members. (Please note, Medicare and Medicaid members do not have access to this service.)

The 2012 immunization schedule for children and adolescents from birth to age 18 is now available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.