Back to school necessities include more than just pencils, notebooks, and binders. Vaccinations are making the list this year as well. However, unlike typical school supplies, if your child is not vaccinated they cannot go to school.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month a good reminder to make sure kids have received all of their vaccinations.
“It’s the best way we can prevent disease, and we can prevent spreading of disease in these places where kids are so close to each other,” says Karyn Johnson, Onondaga County Public Health Educator. “They’re together all day long, germs spread very easily in school settings, so we want to make sure the kids are safe and that those kids who can’t get vaccinated are safe as well,” she adds.
For families who can’t afford the necessary vaccines, the Onondaga County Health Department offers a weekly immunization clinic. It’s open on Wednesday mornings at the Civic Center for people with either no insurance or public insurance. There is a $15 fee, though it can be waived.
If parents are unsure if their child’s vaccinations are up to date, they should call their provider or school nurse. For kids who are behind on their shots, as long as they have the first doses and are in the process of getting more, they can attend school. There is also a 14-day grace period from the start of school, so if a child cannot get their shots before the first day of classes, they will still be able to start school.
If you have any questions, you can call 315-435-2000 or search OnGov.net/Health.