Every year The CDC, Centers for Disease Control, releases their national recommendations for child immunization schedules. This guideline outlines the various vaccines as well as recommends timeframes for children from birth until 18 years. Unfortunately, it is not always feasible for families to follow this schedule for a variety of reasons.
One of the most obvious reasons for missed immunizations is that parents and/or caregivers simply missed or forgot about the appointment. Many times, there are conflicts that get in the way of rescheduling these appointments. This easily pushes back appointments weeks, or even months.
Insurance has also played a huge part in well-child visits, and has not always been readily available for everyone. A change in employment or the sheer cost alone may have caused lapses in coverage and then forced caregivers to schedule out appointments, which in turn causes a delay in the immunization schedule. How relevant is a recommended schedule then?
The CDC experts began publishing a catch-up immunization schedule for children ages 4 months to 18 years, or for those that fell more than one month behind of schedule. Rather than offering suggestions based on age, this schedule provides intervals. For example, birth administration is normal for the Hepatitis B vaccine, the second dose between 1 and 2 months of age, and then the third dose is between 6 and 18 months. The catch-up schedule alters this by suggesting 4 weeks between dose one and two, and then a minimum of 16 weeks after the first does but no more than 24 weeks.
As with anything in life, once there is a deviation from the norm, it is hard to get back on track. Both the Child Passport and the Child Health Record solve this problem. Other immunization records have pre-printed dates, which are great until there is a schedule change. The passport and health record allow for individual customization. Regardless if the patient is on the normal schedule or the catch up immunization schedule, these records are useful. The records note the date of the vaccine along with the provider. There is also an area for the provider to fill in when the next vaccination is due.
Our trackers cut down on costs because they do not need yearly replacement or replacement when and if the national recommendations change. Also, rather than only being applicable to infants, the trackers provided by Health Style Press are valid for children of all ages. It is not necessary to have multiple versions based on ages.
Contact us for more information on how easily these records can benefit your patients and your facility.