Now is time to get back-to-school vaccinations

The main theme of this story is back-to-school vaccinations. It’s not quite “back to school” time but that’s actually not the right time to get back-to-school shots.

Most kindergartens will need vaccines, but they can get them as young as 4 years old.

The sooner the better because one of those vaccines is their second and final MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), said Kelley McDaniel, health educator for the Dearborn County Health Department.

“As we have seen in the news, there has been an outbreak of measles. Yet this is just one of the many reasons to get a child vaccinated as soon as possible,” she said.

From Jan. 1 to May 31, individual cases of measles were confirmed in 26 states, an increase of 41 cases from the previous week.

“This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992, and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000,” said McDaniel, citing information from the Centers for Disease Control.

Also, many Dearborn County physicians no longer provide vaccinations to children with Medicaid. They still provide care to patients, but now must send the children to the health department, she said.

“Due to this, the health department has seen an increase in clients. Therefore, we encourage parents to call for an appointment now so that we can get children protected well before they go back to school,” said McDaniel.

“Even if your child’s physician is doing vaccines, we encourage you to reach out to them now so that there is not a panic right before school starts.”

The largest groups that need vaccines for back to school are kindergarteners, sixth-graders, 16-year-olds and seniors.
kindergarten: Dtap, Polio, MMR, Varicella
sixth grade- Tdap, MCV4, HPV
16-year-olds: MCV4, Men B
seniors: Hep A (if not previously vaccinated)

Hepatitis A was not previously required for school, although students now through sixth/seventh grade should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A.

In an effort to ensure all students are protected against Hep A, students must now receive the 2-dose Hep A series before graduation from high school, said McDaniel.

“This is vital due to the recent Hepatitis A outbreak we have seen in Indiana,” she said.

There have been 1,544 cases state wide, including 20 in Dearborn County. Typically the entire state of Indiana sees 20 cases of Hep A in one year.

For more information, call Cassandra Dick at 812-537-8843 or Kendra Oberting-Cendro at 1-812-537-8844. Ask the nurses for assistance.

The health department is at 165 Mary St., Lawrenceburg, in the county administration building.

The Dearborn County Register & Journal Press

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