1 of 4 practices in VT to exceed vaccination targets for both children, teens
RANDOLPH, Vt.—Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Gifford Health Care was among four practices in the state recognized by the Vermont Department of Health this week for achieving high immunization rates for both children and teens in 2018.
State Public Health Nurse Jan Eberly presented the Gifford team with a certificate for their achievement on May 1, during National Infant Immunization Week, marking the third year in a row Gifford has been recognized.
For a practice to receive recognition from VDH, at least 90 percent of its child patients must be up to date with immunizations for 11 vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, mumps and whooping cough. At least 80 percent of teen patients must be vaccinated to prevent meningitis and cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Timely “vaccination throughout childhood is essential,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.” Parents and caregivers are encouraged to know what immunizations their children need to stay healthy.
“We encourage parents and caregivers to make sure their children are up to date on all vaccines, and if you are unsure about vaccines, or have any questions at all, talk to your child’s doctor,” said Vermont Immunization Program Director Christine Finley. “They will give you the information you need.”
Childhood vaccines include DTaP, for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; IPV, for polio; MMR, for measles, mumps, and rubella; Hib, for haemophilus influenza type b; VAR, for chickenpox; and PCV, for pneumococcal disease. Teen vaccines include HPV; Tdap, for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis; and MCV, for meningococcal disease.
In addition to being recognized for high immunization rates overall, Gifford Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine recently was named Vermont’s “HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention Champion” for outstanding efforts to protect adolescents from cancers caused by HPV. The award, announced in December 2018 by the CDC, American Cancer Society, and Association of American Cancer Institutes, recognizes clinics and practices that go above and beyond to foster HPV vaccination in their community. Gifford was one of 32 award recipients nationwide.
For more information about immunization in Vermont, visit healthvermont.gov/disease-control/immunization. For more information about Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Gifford, visit giffordhealthcare.org/service/primary-care.
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Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vt., with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, Randolph, Rochester, and White River Junction; and specialty services throughout central Vermont. A Federally Qualified Health Center and a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country, Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department and inpatient unit; many surgical services; a day care; two adult day programs; and the 30-bed Menig Nursing Home, which was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best 39 nursing homes in the country in 2012. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to traditional hospital-based deliveries, and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care. The hospital’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.