While you have been busy buying backpacks, clothes, shoes, and items on the endless supply list given to you by your child’s school, have you thought about your kids’ vaccinations?
All school-age children, from pre-K to college, need vaccines. Making sure your child has all their vaccinations is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to prepare for the school year. This will help to keep them, their classmates, and our community healthy.
Thanks to vaccines, many diseases are now rare but outbreaks do happen.
In 2010, Jefferson County had an outbreak of Pertussis (whooping cough), and there is currently an outbreak of Pertussis in neighboring Clinton County, NY. Over the last year, New York State has also had both measles and mumps outbreaks.
Schools tend to be a perfect location for disease to spread because of the number of people being in such a small space. It is important to be vaccinated completely to keep outbreaks from occurring.
How do vaccinations work?
Vaccines sort of “trick” our bodies into fighting a disease we don’t have. Then, if we are exposed to that same disease, our body is prepared to fight it off.
It is important to follow the recommended schedule from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which outlines at what age to give your child vaccines. The schedule is developed so that vaccines are given when your child will have the best immune response to each vaccine. New York State follows this schedule to determine which vaccinations are required for children to attend school.
If your child needs a vaccine, call your healthcare provider or make an appointment with the Jefferson County Public Health Service (JCPHS) at www.jcphs.org.
JCPHS immunization clinics are every Wednesday from 12:30-3:30pm, with extended hours on August 30th (12:30-5pm) and September 6th (11am-6pm).
Most health insurance plans do cover the cost of vaccines. If you don’t have insurance, or if your insurance does not cover vaccines, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program may be able to help.
Once your child is vaccinated, you can cross immunizations off the list…but don’t worry, you will always have more school supplies to buy after the first day of school!
Make it happen:
Immunization clinics at the Jefferson County Public Health Office are offered every Wednesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Here’s where you’ll need to go once you’ve made an appointment: