First Lady Partners With Shots For Tots

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First Lady Supriya Jindal announced today her partnership with the Shots for Tots outreach campaign. The effort, called "Every Child by Two," is an aggressive media campaign to raise awareness among caregivers on the benefits of immunizations and the dangers of leaving children unvaccinated. The ultimate goal is to make sure that 90 percent of Louisiana's kids are fully vaccinated by age two, which is also the national target.

The program has four major components, including radio and television spots urging parents to vaccinate their children; a poster campaign featuring the First Lady and produced by Wal-Mart, one of the Shots for Tots partners; a Hallmark greeting card campaign, in which new parents receive a greeting card that congratulates them on their newborn and includes important vaccination information; and an upgrade of the Shots for Tots Web site, featuring all the First Lady's outreach material.

DHH Secretary Alan Levine says this campaign is just the latest step Louisiana has taken to improve childhood immunization rates.

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"Louisiana now requires vaccinations for kids before they enter school and DHH has expanded the hours of immunization clinics to make it more convenient for parents. We also have a data system, called LINKS, a tool that optimizes the use of today's technology to help make our efforts more effective. Also, our Medicaid program can reward providers who use the state Immunization Registry to vaccinate their patients on time," Levine said.

All of these efforts have resulted in substantial improvements in our rate of vaccinated kids.

"The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks Louisiana 32nd in the country for children who are current on vaccines. This is 12 places better than the previous year, when we were ranked 44th. However, we want to make sure that we are on track with the national goal of 90 percent immunization. This aggressive campaign is a step in that direction," Mrs. Jindal said.

Shots for Tots is a broad coalition of groups and individuals throughout our state who care about children. The coalition includes physicians, nurses, university officials, public health officials, volunteer agencies, political leaders, churches and community organizations. These diverse groups come together specifically to improve immunization coverage in Louisiana. It was formed in 1992 in Louisiana.

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