What is “Vaccinate Before You Graduate – Louisiana”?

Vaccinate Before You Graduate (VBYG) is a public information campaign and program that raises awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated as a high school student, provides information about which vaccinations are most important to this age group, and lets students and their parents know where they can receive vaccinations, often at no out-of-pocket cost if done before graduating from high school.

Why is It Important?

Too often, parents and students are unaware of what vaccines they have received and which vaccines need booster doses. For example, a recent study found that 79% of parents were not aware that their child was not fully vaccinated against all 5 strains of meningitis – a potentially deadly disease that is most commonly seen in young adults ages 16-21 (Source, CDC).

Additionally, less than one-third of those who received the first-dose against the disease have received the recommended booster dose. VBYG is designed to encourage students to research their vaccine history and receive any missing vaccinations or booster doses before graduation.

Who Makes Recommendations?

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

The ACIP meets three times a year to review scientific data and vote on vaccine recommendations. Members have expertise in vaccinology, immunology, pediatrics, internal medicine, nursing, family medicine, virology, public health, infectious diseases, and preventive medicine along with a consumer representative who provides perspectives on the social and community aspects of vaccination.

ACIP meetings are open to the public and available online via live webcast. During committee meetings, members present findings and discuss vaccine research and scientific data related to vaccine effectiveness and safety, clinical trial results, and manufacturer’s labeling or package insert information. Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease or changes in vaccine supply also are reviewed during these meetings. Vaccine recommendations include the age when the vaccine should be given, number of doses needed, dosing interval, and precautions and contraindications to administration of vaccines.

The calendar and proposed agendas, as well as past meeting minutes, slide presentations, and live meeting links, are posted under ACIP Meetings.

Evaluating Online Health Information


Questions You Should Ask:


Who manages this information?

The person or group that has published health information online should be identified on the website.

Who is paying to promote the information and what is their motivation?

You should be able to find this in the “About Us” section.

What is the original source of the online information?

If the information was originally published in another source such as a research journal or a book, it should be identified so you can find the original source.

How is information reviewed before it gets posted?

Most health information publications have someone with medical or research credentials (e.g., someone who has earned an MD, DO, or PhD) review the information before it gets posted, to make sure it is correct. This information should be noted on the website.

How current is the information?

Online health information sources should display a date when the information was posted or last reviewed.

If they are asking for personal information, how will they use that information and how will they protect your privacy?

This is very important. Do not share personal information until you understand the policies under which it will be used and you are comfortable with any risk involved in sharing your information online.

Trusted Sources of Information

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

AAP’s childhood immunization website contains information for both parents and clinicians.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The information on this website ranges from official vaccine recommendations for healthcare professionals to information for the general public about vaccines.

Every Child by Two (ECBT)

Founded by Rosalynn Carter and Betty Bumpers, ECBT provides educational materials and information about vaccines, their safety, vaccine research and science, and vaccine misperceptions to help clinicians and parents.

History of Vaccines

Interactive website from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, includes games, videos, and fun facts.

Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)

IAC works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services.

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)

NFID is dedicated to educating the public and healthcare professionals about the causes, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases

U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Vaccines.gov is the federal gateway to information on vaccines and immunizations for infants, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors.

Vaccine Education Center (VEC)

The goal of the VEC at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is to accurately communicate the facts about each childhood vaccine. VEC publishes a monthly vaccine e-newsletter for parents titled Parents PACK.


Website created in 2016 by pediatrician Dr. Vincent Iannelli to provide information about vaccines to parents. Access short articles about a wide range of vaccine topics.

World Health Organization

Vaccine Safety Websites meet essential and important good information practices criteria by the WHO

Media & Videos

Posted by Vaccinate Before You Graduate Louisiana on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Materials For Parents

Click to Download:

VBYG Key Messages

VBYG Information Sheet

Recommended Vaccines for High-School Students

Request A Vaccination Record

Materials For Teens


CDC has collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and 4-H to develop a 60-page comic book-style story graphic novel called “The Junior Disease Detectives: Operation Outbreak.” A description of the book from CDC follows:

The novel follows a group of teenage 4-H members who participate in a state agricultural fair and later attend CDC’s Disease Detective Camp in Atlanta. When one of the boys becomes sick following the fair, the rest of the group uses their newly acquired disease detective knowledge to help a team of public and animal health experts solve the mystery of how their friend became sick. The graphic novel is intended to raise awareness among youth about the potential human health risks associated with variant influenza virus infections, and it is also intended to inspire youth interest in careers in public and animal health. The release of the graphic novel is intended to coincide with agriculture fair season, which is occurring right now in the U.S.

Download of this graphic novel at no charge from the Apple iTunes bookstore or download and print “Junior Disease Detectives” as a PDF document.

Coalition Partners

The Vaccinate Before You Graduate Coalition is designed to engage partners and organizations with likeminded goals of promoting healthy living and wellness for children and young adults throughout Louisiana. Coalition members play a pivotal role in furthering the program’s messages and mission and serve as spokespeople and program champions within their professional networks.


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Join Us!

If you are interested in joining our Coalition and being a part of the Vaccinate Before You Graduate Program, please contact Henry Hom l at Henry.Hom@la.gov or (504) 568-2620 for more information.




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