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New law helps ensure more children are getting vaccinated

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Summer break is winding down for Hoosier children. For many, the return to school means a trip to the doctor’s office for immunizations.

The upcoming school year will be the first since a new law went into effect on July 1. That law allows schools, as well as child care centers, colleges and other state agencies to access immunization records for students and children attending child care to ensure more children are getting vaccinated.

The expansion of the Children and Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program, or CHIRP, is in response to several outbreaks during the past six months of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Doctors at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent say some parents may not be as concerned about their kids getting certain vaccines because they do not realize the threat.

“Diseases people thought were diseases of their grandparents or their great grandparents, {like} pertussis, in 2010, we saw more cases of pertussis in this country than he did since the 1950’s,” explains Dr. Christopher Belcher, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

Children entering kindergarten, first grade and sixth grade must all submit immunization reports to the Indiana State Department of Health before heading to the classroom.

Click here to find school requirements for immunization.