Back-to-School Vaccinations

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Monday, July 30, 2012

School is rapidly approaching, and there are a number of things to do before that first day arrives.

But there is one very important item you need to make sure you add to your checklist.

Kids can't go to school until they are fully updated on their vaccinations.
Health clinics are warning that everyone waits until the last minute to get these shots. They advise to come now, to avoid a headache later.

Melissa Heine brought her two-month-old son to the clinic to get his vaccinations up to date.

"Vaccinations are very important to keep him well, he's also required to have them so he can go to daycare," Heine said.

It's not only day cares that require vaccinations to be updated. Parents risk their children being excluded from school if they do not have proof
of required immunizations.

"Immunizations protect children from vaccine preventable diseases, from many serious diseases," Claudia Blackburn, Health Director, said.

Children can opt out of the vaccinations if they have medical conditions that make getting the shots dangerous, or if it is against their religious beliefs.
But medical specialists warn that not receiving the vaccination can open children up to dangers.

"When somebody's vaccinated, their body recognizes this, the vaccine and creates antibodies or a substance that helps to fight off the disease if the person ever comes in contact with it," Blackburn said.

Because the vaccinations are required by schools, the Sedgwick County Health Department works to make the shots affordable for all.

"We really try to keep that from being a barrier, we have a sliding fee scale, so based on income, the fee may be minimal, less than five dollars per immunization," Blackburn said.

The Sedgwick County Health Department is holding a vaccination clinic on August 11th from 9 to noon.

Free immunizations will be given to uninsured children.

For more information regarding immunizations, click here.


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