Westchester County



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Don't Forget to Vaccinate

The Westchester County Department of Health reminds parents and guardians that backpacks and pencils aren’t all that’s needed to get kids ready for school. Now is the time to schedule an appointment with your child’s healthcare provider to ensure that he or she will have the immunizations he or she needs to avoid vaccine-preventable illness throughout the school year. Some vaccines are even required by New York State to start school on time.

Cases of whooping cough in school-aged children have been reported here in Westchester and recent national and international outbreaks of measles serve as important reminders of the need to ensure that residents are up-to-date with all recommended vaccinations.

Parents and guardians, please remember to make sure your infant/child is up to date on all childhood immunizations, and don't forget that flu shot. Vaccines offer the best protection against many childhood illnesses. Remember that vaccines aren't just for kids. Adults need them too. Read the current Center for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended immunization schedules.

To obtain immunization records: Contact your health care provider to obtain copies of immunization records for vaccines given in New York State, not the county or state. Read the following carefully as it relates to where you can access immunization records:

  • If you were not immunized at a Westchester County Department of Health clinic, then the county would not have your immunization records.
  • If you were immunized at a county clinic, the health department maintains immunization records for seven years only.
  • If you are seeking immunization records to enroll in a school and are unable to locate these you may have to be re-immunized or take a blood test to provide proof of immunity. Please consult your physician.

If you need MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine to attend school, county health department clinics can provide it for you at no charge. Please call (914) 813-5000 for an appointment.

Physicians, the Westchester County Department of Health continues to collaborate with you to improve rates of childhood immunizations.  Health Department staff conduct voluntary site visits to pediatric and family physician practices to review immunization records and suggest strategies to improve vaccination rates. 

Your pediatrician can answer any questions you may haveHealth Department staff also promote providers’ enrollment into the New York State Immunization Registry, a confidential statewide electronic database of children’s vaccinations. Keeping the registry up-to-date can help families and their physicians keep track of immunization records. Health care providers of registered children can access a child’s vaccine history if a family moves within New York State.

Download and print these posters:

Pediatricians answer vaccine questions
Parents have many questions about the vaccines their children need. To answer these questions, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Sound Advice Web page features a collection of audio interviews with pediatricians, researchers, advocates and other parents.

Vaccine Information Statements
The Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) is an information sheet produced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that explains to vaccine recipients, their parents, or their legal representatives both the benefits and risks of a vaccine. Federal law requires that a VIS be handed out before each dose whenever certain vaccinations are given.

Don't forget to take time to get the seasonal flu vaccine Seasonal Flu Vaccinations
Don't forget to take time to get vaccinated. Vaccination is the best protection against getting the seasonal flu. Everyone six months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu. Children younger than six months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated - the people who care for them should be vaccinated. The 2010-2011 flu vaccine protects against the three most common flu viruses; an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season. The seasonal flu vaccine can protect you from getting sick from these three viruses or it can make your illness milder.

Pneumococcal Vaccine
Senior citizens should also receive pneumococcal vaccine, which generally needs to be given only one time, to protect themselves against the most common type of pneumonia. Pneumococcal vaccine protects against pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common cause of pneumonia in adults.  By receiving pneumococcal vaccine just one time, high risk individuals can usually protect themselves against illness and possibly death from this disease

Immunization Resources: