What parents need to know about back-to-school immunizations

Back to School

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is helping parents get their kids ready to get back to school.

Most of you have just over a week until you send the kids off to class and you don’t want them to get sent right back home.

That’s what will happen if they don’t have their immunizations.

Measles cases in the U.S. are at the highest since the disease was eliminated in 2000. More than 1,200 cases have been reported in so far this year.

Experts say that’s why its more important then ever to protect your kids and their classmates by getting all required vaccines.

Kimi Stevens, a spokesperson for the Chesapeake Health Department, “Part of the immunization process is herd immunity so, the more people that are vaccinated the less chance that we’ll have any kind of an outbreak.”

Kindergartners must have four shots: MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) Dtap (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis or whooping cough), Polio and Varicella (chicken pox).

In a change since last year, rising 7th graders must now get a Dtap booster. It used to be rising 6th graders, but the law changed.

Stevens said rising 7th graders can also opt for the HPV and Meningococcal vaccines. “The Meningococcal is really important also for college students, because we’ve seen outbreaks in colleges in the area,” she said.

Vaccines are free at your local health department and many are offering extended hours and special clinics right now to help parents get this done in time for the first day of school.

Bring your shot records with you when you go.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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