- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Gov. Susana Martinez urged parents to vaccinate their children for school and announced an annual program — “Got Shots! Protect Tots!” — to make it more convenient to get kids up-to-date on vaccines.

Some 90 providers will participate in the statewide vaccination drive from Aug. 1-15, including many that offer Saturday and evening hours to accommodate working parents.

Some 2,400 New Mexico children were immunized in 2014 by the Got Shots? Protect Tots! program.

“Parent, please take the time and vaccinate your children,” Martinez said during a news conference Monday at a New Mexico Department of Health public health office in Albuquerque.

Got Shots? Protect Tots!

To find a vaccination clinic near you, visit nmhealth.org and click on the “Got Shots? Protect Tots!” banner to find an interactive map showing nearby clinics, hours and phone numbers. Or call the New Mexico Vaccine Hotline at 866-681-5872.

“We need to make sure that our children are well-prepared to return to school, healthy, strong and ready to learn,” she said.

Parents can get children up-to-date on required vaccinations at no cost, and without a co-payment, even if the child is uninsured or underinsured, officials said.

“Parents, all you have to do is bring your child’s insurance card or Medicaid card, and their shot records when you take them to one of the participating clinics,” Martinez said at the Midtown Public Health Office. “If your child does not have insurance or Medicaid, don’t worry.”

New Mexico is one of nine states that purchase all childhood vaccines and distributes them to about 500 medical providers across the state, said Margaret C. Campos, immunization program manager for the New Mexico Department of Health.

The Vaccines for Children program is funded by $32 million a year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Campos said.

Children with private insurance can also receive vaccines at no cost to parents in New Mexico, she said.

Legislation signed into law this year requires insurance companies to reimburse the state for the cost of vaccinations for children they insure. The law will provide an estimated $6 million a year for the state’s vaccination program.

Parents who are uncertain about a child’s shot record can ask a health care provider to access a statewide database called the New Mexico Statewide Immunization Information System, or SIIS, which contains records of childhood vaccinations, Campos said.

“Vaccinations play a huge role in keeping our children healthy and strong,” Martinez said.

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(c)2015 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Visit the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) at www.abqjournal.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Topics: t000002827,t000412858,t000002855,t000413943


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