I lied. Just like I do when my kids have to get shots. I know that immunizations are a really touchy subject, and I certainly don’t need (or want) to add to the katrillion places on the Internet where pros and cons of immunization are discussed. What I do want to do is to let you know about some resources at your disposal that can help you get your kids up to date on their immunizations. If you choose to. Which again; we are not debating here.
In Kent County, the Health Department is an excellent resource. Those little cards you used to have to carry around with your childrens’ immunizations on them are obsolete thanks to the MCIR, the Michigan Care Improvement Registry. You can request a copy of your kid’s record directly from the MCIR for free, or Health Department can provide a copy for you if you need it. You might have to pay a dollar or so, depending on who is working at the counter that day. If you staple this to the ‘green form’ your kids need for school, you don’t have to fill in all of the blanks.
And about those green forms. I took the green forms to their pediatrician thinking I needed one filled out before school starts in September, but their checkups aren’t until October. They asked me for $15 apiece. I asked them to jump in a lake. The green forms from last year are just fine, until their checkups in October. I just have to remember to have the doctor fill one out in October (it’s free if you have it done at a visit), then take the update ones to the school.
When A.P. and Maybelle were babies, I took their records with me to every visit to the pediatrician. The recommendations change quickly, and the MCIR is more up to date with the current schedules (recommendations) than some pediatricians’ offices. One pediatrician told me in a not too kind way that I should be a ‘lawyer’, the way I fight for my child not to get shots. I moved to another pediatrician, who praises my involvement. Love her.
The Health Department also provides some immunziations. Specific immunization schedules and fees are available on the website. Click on ‘immunizations’ on the sidebar. The CDC has some resources as well. Keep an eye on these websites for H1N1 flu vaccine information too. No; this isn’t a fun subject but a little information can save your child from too many or too few immunizations; and can save you money if you aren’t paying doctor’s offices to fill out forms you don’t need.