Health officials accelerating push to get all children immunized

August 10, 1994|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Sun Staff Writer

The Carroll County Health Department has stepped up its efforts to ensure that all young county children are properly immunized.

The initiative ties in with a goal set last year by the Clinton administration to immunize 90 percent of all the country's 2-year-olds by 2000.

County health department officials updated the county commissioners on their immunization programs at a meeting yesterday.

In May, the health department created the position of "immunization outreach nurse" to find county children who have not had all the necessary vaccinations.

County health nurses have also been offering a monthly immunization clinic at Cranberry Mall since April.

"We've come a long way, but we're just finding so many more [underimmunized children] out there," said Pat Burnett, supervisor of the health department's maternal and child health services.

Compared with other areas, Carroll is way ahead in immunizing young children.

In the county, 71 percent of all 2-year-olds are fully immunized. Nationally, only 60 percent of 2-year-olds have received the proper shots, Mrs. Burnett said.

The vaccinations protect children against such diseases as measles, polio and mumps.

The Clinton administration introduced its universal immunization proposal last year.

Under the plan, which takes effect in October, the federal government will buy vaccines from drug companies and provide them at no cost to public health clinics and private physicians.

Private doctors would still be able to charge a $15 administrative cost for each shot.

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