Special Immunization Projects - Community Resources

Why Immunize?

Why immunize our children?

    Sometimes we are confused by the messages in the media. First we are assured that, thanks to vaccines, some diseases are almost gone from the U.S., but we are also warned to immunize our children, ourselves as adults and the elderly.

      Diseases are becoming rare due to vaccinations.

        It's true some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. Of course, they are becoming rare largely because we have been vaccinating against them. But it is still reasonable to ask whether it's really worthwhile to keep vaccinating. It's much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, "Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax." But the leak hasn't stopped. Before long we'd notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.

          Keep immunizing until disease is eliminated.

            Unless we can "stop the leak" (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will be infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.

              Japan reduced pertussis vaccinations, and an epidemic occurred.

                In 1974, Japan had a successful pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination program, with nearly 80% of Japanese children vaccinated. That year only 393 cases of pertussis were reported in the entire country, and there were no deaths from pertussis. But then rumors began to spread that pertussis vaccination was no longer needed and that the vaccine was not safe, and by 1976 only 10% of infants were getting vaccinated. In 1979 Japan suffered a major pertussis epidemic, with more than 13,000 cases of whooping cough and 41 deaths. In 1981 the government began vaccinating with acellular pertussis vaccine, and the number of pertussis cases dropped again.

                  What if we stopped vaccinating?

                    So what would happen if we stopped vaccinating here? Diseases that are almost unknown would stage a comeback. Before long we would see epidemics of diseases that are nearly under control today. More children would get sick and more would die.

                      We vaccinate to protect our future.

                        We don't vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren. With one disease, smallpox, we "stopped the leak" in the boat by eradicating the disease. Our children don't have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. If we keep vaccinating now, parents in the future may be able to trust that diseases like polio and meningitis won't infect, cripple, or kill children. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of certain diseases.

                          Where to Receive Vaccines

                          The best place for any child to receive immunizations is within the context of ongoing primary care. Talking with your primary care nurse or doctor about immunizations can also get you into the habit of discussing other issues affecting the health of you or your child. Any time your child visits the doctor, whether it is for a check-up or a rash, fever or emergency visit, you should always ask "Are my child’s immunizations up to date?" Every visit to the doctor’s office is an opportunity to immunize!

                            If you or your child do not have a source of primary care, immunizations are available throughout Nevada at minimal or no charge. Listed below are links to the Public Health & Clinical Services locations, as well as our state’s health departments, all of which provide vaccination services.

                              Carson City Health and Human Services
                              Get Map/Directions
                              900 East Long Street
                              Carson City NV 89706
                              (775) 887-2190

                                Washoe County Health District
                                Get Map/Directions
                                1001 East 9th Street Building B
                                Reno NV 89512
                                (775) 328-3724

                                  Southern Nevada Health District
                                  Get Map/Directions
                                  330 S. Valley View Blvd.
                                  Las Vegas NV 89107
                                  (702) 759-0850

                                    Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

                                    The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) consists of 15 experts in fields associated with immunization who have been selected by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to provide advice and guidance to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases.

                                      The Committee develops written recommendations for the routine administration of vaccines to children and adults. The ACIP is the only entity in the federal government that makes such recommendations. To learn more about the ACIP, click here. To view the current recommendations for children and adults, click here to visit the ACIP’s Immunization Schedules webpage.

                                        What Vaccines do you need? (for adolescents and adults)

                                        For Parents and Healthcare Providers

                                        • Scheduler Button

                                        Immunization Schedule

                                          Nevada’s School Immunization Requirements

                                          Kindergarten and Children New to a School District

                                            Per Nevada state law, unless excused because of religious belief or medical condition, a child may not be enrolled in a public, private, or charter school within Nevada until the child has been vaccinated or is in the process of being vaccinated against the following diseases:

                                              • Diphtheria
                                              • Tetanus
                                              • Pertussis
                                              • Poliomyelitis
                                              • Rubella
                                              • Measles
                                              • Mumps
                                              • Hepatitis A
                                              • Hepatitis B
                                              • Varicella

                                                Required Number of Doses for Children


                                                  ACIP Immunization Schedule
                                                  2 mo.
                                                  of age  
                                                  4 mo.
                                                  of age
                                                  6 mo.
                                                  of age
                                                  12-15 mo.
                                                  of age
                                                  18-24 mo.
                                                  of age
                                                  4-6 yrs.
                                                  of age
                                                  11-12 yrs.
                                                  of age
                                                  Total Doses
                                                  Required Prior to
                                                  School Entry
                                                  DTP, DT,
                                                  1 2 3 4   5*   4 or 5
                                                  (If dose #4 is given on
                                                  or after 4th birthday #5
                                                  is not needed)
                                                  Polio (IPV) 1 2 3 4   3 or 4
                                                  (If dose #3 is given on
                                                  or after 4th birthday, #4
                                                  is not needed)
                                                  MMR       1   2   2
                                                  (doses must be at least
                                                  4 weeks apart)
                                                  Hepatitis B 1 2 3     3
                                                  Varicella       1   2   2
                                                  Hepatitis A       1 2     2
                                                  (doses must be at least
                                                  6 months apart)
                                                  TDAP             1 1

                                                    7th Grade

                                                      Per Nevada state law, unless excused because of religious belief or medical condition, a child may not be enrolled into 7th grade at a public, private, or charter school within Nevada until the child has been vaccinated against Pertussis. This involves the Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. Pertussis is also known as Whooping Cough.

                                                        University Students

                                                          Per Nevada state law, unless excused because of religious belief or medical condition a person shall not attend a university until they submit to the university proof of immunity to Tetanus, Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, Rubella. If person is less than 23 years of age and enrolled as a freshman, this person shall not reside in on-campus housing until they submit proof of immunity against Meningitis.

                                                            University is defined as any university within the Nevada System of High Education or any private post-secondary educational institution that provides on-campus housing.

                                                              Nevada State Laws

                                                                Please click on the following document that lists all Nevada Revised Statutes and Nevada Administrative Codes that require school vaccinations. The document also lists the laws explaining exemption from vaccinations per religious belief and medical conditions.

                                                                Nevada Immunization Coalitions

                                                                The Nevada Immunization Coalitions are a diverse partnership of individuals, businesses and organizations committed to improving and protecting the health of children, adolescents, adults, and seniors in Nevada.

                                                                  For more information, click here.