Some of the Latest Information on South Carolina Immunizations
In 1796, a healthy young boy received the first small pox vaccine, developed by Edward Jenmer. Over two centuries later, the science of vaccines is still progressing with many victories achieved, in during the eradication of smallpox in 1977. The US Department of Health and Human Services predicted that polio will be extinct in 2005, while work continues in vaccines for HIV and cancer.
In our lifetime, we will see immunizations against even more diseases, perhaps AIDS and respiratory syncytial virus. Before these vaccines and others become reality, the nation must drastically improve current immunization rates. According to the CDC, more than 900,000 US children have not been properly immunized.
In 1992, South Carolina immunization rates for children 2 years and under were 62%. That year the State Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) began an intense program with the CDC. It explained state wide when DHEC joined the Governor Immunization Outreach Committee, a coalition of public and private organizations changed with raising immunization levels of children under age 2 to 80% by 1994.
By May 1994, the immunization rate in children under 2 in SC was 81%. In Dec 1994, South Carolina achieved the rank of number one in the nation for immunizing its' toddlers. SC remained No.1 until May 1995, when the goal of 90% was met.
DHEC designed a program in which children who were under immunized were identified; the families were contacted and encouraged to have the immunizations updated. The resulting system has evolved from a personal computer network to an official immunization registry, in which registered users can access immunization records from practices across the state.
Although, it is preferable that immunizations be given according to the CDC's prescribed schedule during infancy and adulthood, adults need to be sure that they have been given all appropriate immunization.
Immunization info and recommendation can be obtained at the local health department or at USC Upstate Health Services. All students are encouraged to take advantage of these services.
Statistics obtained from "Advance for Nurses" Vol.4 No.10