Albany-- Many of us have had to track down doctors and rummage through old papers to get our child's immunization records. The hassle is over. The state has come up with a new, on-line system that has all this information in one easy to find place. It's called GRITS and health workers are cheering.
"Hi, good morning, Ricarda, how are you?" Dr. H.S. Prabhakara has treated children all over the world. He has seen kids in poor countries die from preventable disease, and this Albany doctor says vaccinations save lives, "I've seen a vast improvement in the children and a lot of the dreadful diseases have been eradicated thanks largely to effective vaccination."
Dr. Prabhakara keeps track of when his patients are given life-saving vaccinations--but good record-keeping is not done everywhere. This is the first year a full time nurse has been at Southside Middle School. Nurse Ridenour Lamb says she's been playing a lot of catch up with student vaccination records, "Since we have not had school nurses before some of the immunization records were not up to date."
Nurse Lamb says many records are incomplete, or not up-to-date, and a new statewide database will help her to her job, "Very much so. I have a lot of kids this year with injuries and I need to know when the last tetanus shot was." There are times when she doesn't know--and that's because the parents don't have accurate records--a problem that now has a cure.
Your pediatrician or the public health department will have access to the GRITS system. You just have to ask them for the free print out. Right now, about 30 pediatric offices in Southwest Georgia are connected to the state-wide database. The Department of Health is working to connect all doctor's to this centralized computer network.