Garland Public Health Clinic is celebrating the 20th anniversary of National Infant Immunization Week from April 26 to May 3. Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined together to emphasize the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public health.
Immunizations have had an enormous impact on improving the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a family or community. It's easy to think of these as diseases that only existed in the past. But the truth is, they still exist. Children in the United States can--and do--still get some of these diseases. In fact, when vaccination rates drop in a community, it's not uncommon to have an outbreak.
In recent years, Texas (including Garland) has seen a sharp increase in cases of pertussis (whooping cough). Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that initially resembles an ordinary cold. Infants are particularly at risk since they are not fully vaccinated against pertussis until after they are a year old. The best way to prevent the spread of whooping cough to infants and young children is by making sure everyone around them is immunized. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents (including those 65 years and older), other family members, babysitters, etc. They should be up-to-date with the age-appropriate vaccine (DTaP or Tdap) at least two weeks before coming into close contact with the infant.
Getting the Tdap vaccination is also important for pregnant women. By getting the Tdap vaccination during pregnancy, mothers build antibodies that are transferred to the newborn, likely providing protection against pertussis in early life. And, of course, giving your baby all of the recommended immunizations is the best way to protect him from 14 serious diseases, like measles and whooping cough. For more information, please call the Garland Public Health Clinic at 972-205-3370.
Due to the heightened flu situation, Garland Public Health Clinic has a limited supply of flu vaccine. Please call 972-205-3370 for information regarding availability before visiting the clinic.
Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. The “flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses are circulating in the population. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chance of getting seasonal flu and spreading it to others.
Good hygiene habits help prevent infection, too. Wash your hands often and cover your coughs and sneezes. It’s best to use a tissue and quickly throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, you should cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. This will prevent the spread of germs.
Influenza vaccine facts:
• You can’t get the “flu” from the influenza vaccine.
• Children 6 months and older need a flu vaccine every year.
• A nasal-spray vaccine can be given to healthy children and adults (2 – 49 years old).
• Children younger than 9 years old who are getting influenza vaccine for the first time need two doses.
• Ask for the high-dose influenza vaccine if you are 65 years or older.
If you have not yet received a flu vaccination this season, please contact the Garland Public Health Clinic at 972-205-3370.
The mission of the Clinical Services Department is to provide basic public health services - including immunizations and well-child exams and surveillance, investigation, and control services related to communicable diseases, directed primarily towards the city’s medically needy population. These services allow for increased community-wide immunity from vaccine-preventable diseases and serve to identify and aid in early intervention with growth and developmental problems among children. Failure to provide these services would require that Garland residents seek these services elsewhere or simply go without proper care.
Low-cost immunizations administered by specially trained registered nurses are available year round for all ages at the Clinical Services location in Garland. Clinical Services is also an approved administration site for travel vaccines, including the Yellow Fever vaccine.
Along with child and adult immunizations, the clinic provides well-child Texas Health Steps exams, communicable disease surveillance and prophylaxis, tuberculosis screening, perinatal Hepatitis B case management/monitoring, population assessments, and education of providers and the community about the State’s immunization registry ImmTrac.
Nursing staff also oversee the proper storage, handling, and administration of vaccines by Garland providers in the Texas Vaccines for Children program.
Staff nurses are available to provide health education to the entire community. Along with on-site clinical services, they offer back-to-school clinics and flu vaccine clinics at various school and community locations.