By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
Back-to-school time is rapidly approaching in Liberal and besides new supplies, another important thing ingoing students need to do is get caught up on their vaccines before heading back to class.
“We encourage everybody to come in and get their shots done on time according the immunization schedule put out by ACIP and the CDC,” Charly Madden, a registered nurse at the Seward County Health Department said. “By immunizing, we’re building immunities so we’re protecting not only the students themselves at school but we’re also protecting others in the community from vaccine-preventable disease.”
Vicky Hecox, another registered nurse at the Seward County Health Department said it’s important to get them done before classes start as the vaccines take roughly two weeks to take full effect.
“If you go ahead and get them when you can and not at the last minute, you’re already being protected when you start school,” Hecox said.
Madden and Hecox also both said there has been somewhat of a rush in the last couple of weeks, which is typical for the department.
Vaccines at the health department are done on a walk-in basis during regular business hours. However, Madden said there’s always the chance of a long wait.
“And then of course the school nurses send out letters stating if students are behind on their vaccines and they can’t return to school until a certain date,” Madden added. “We can definitely tell when the letters have been sent out.”
There are also some reasons why parents might wait to get their students vaccinated, Madden said, including a lack of time and how it’s possible they don’t know what vaccinations their students even need.
There are also a couple of age groups who especially need to be aware of their vaccination records.
“The ones going into kindergarten need to make sure their shots are up to date and then kids turning 11 need to make sure their shots are up to date,” Hecox explained. “When they turn 11 they start requiring more that they didn’t need at the younger ages.”
“And if you’re ever in doubt or don’t know if your child needs vaccinated you can always stop here at the health department and have us check your shot records,” Madded added