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A healthy start to the school year

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Immunization clinics offered locally

COLUMBUS — Back-to-school season is quickly approaching for many students, and Ohio Department of Health officials report it is the perfect time to make sure that children are up-to-date on vaccines.

Unvaccinated children are at an increased risk for contracting vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough. They also may spread such diseases which are serious or potentially life-threatening for high-risk individuals such as infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated and others who have weakened immune systems due to other health conditions.

Ohio has had 377 confirmed cases of measles this year, the largest outbreak in the U.S. since 1994. Ohio’s mumps outbreak stands at 473 cases. Logan County also has seen an influx of whooping cough cases this year.

Locally, the Logan County Health District, 310 S. Main St., offers back-to-school immunizations during regular clinics offered from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursdays and from 2 to 6 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month.

The health district accepts cash or check with an ID and is now accepting Medical Mutual, Aetna, Anthem insurance and most Ohio Medicaid. Call 651-6189 to make an appointment.

In addition, the Ohio Department of Health is joining the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.

“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health and that of classmates and the community,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary DiOrio said.

“If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs, and when.”

Most schools require children to be current on vaccinations before enrolling to protect the health of all students.

Children who are 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and polio.

Youths who are preteens and teenagers need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), MenACWY (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for all children 6 months and older.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at 

http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/dis/immunization/imunchsc.aspx.

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