While there’s certainly controversy for some parents regarding vaccinations, childhood vaccines play a significant role in the lives of many American children today.
Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for children to miss the recommended times to receive certain vaccines.
A new software tool available to physicians through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site now enables doctors to develop "catch-up" vaccine schedules for children who have missed one or more shots.
"It is very easy to modify a vaccine schedule for an individual child and have them caught up with their age-appropriate recommendations," says Dr. Saroja Thawani, a pediatrician at the Advocate Health facility at Irving Park Road and Western Avenue in Chicago. "Doctors can absolutely modify the vaccination pattern to meet an individual child’s needs and health requirements."
The new software tool, developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, can help physicians and parents determine how best to adjust what can be complicated immunization schedules on a case-by-case basis while still maintaining vaccine dosage and timing guidelines.
With the new software, a physician or caregiver can simply enter the child’s date of birth and all previous immunizations and dates and the program will create a personalized schedule of the recommended dates to administer all future vaccines.
The tool "helps us sort out the options, whether to administer the missing dosages in a combination of vaccines at the same time or with shorter intervals between doses," says Thawani.