Back-to-school immunizations encouraged

LoCoHeathDistrict logo

Extended clinic hours offered at health district

Summer is almost over and that means it’s time for parents to begin thinking about back-to-school season. Along with the school supply necessities such as folders and backpacks, the Ohio Department of Health and officials from the Logan County Health District want to remind parents to make sure their kids are up-to-date on their vaccines against serious diseases. 

To emphasize the importance of vaccinations, the ODH is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. 

“When parents are thinking about their back-to-school checklists, vaccines should be at the top of the list,” said Sietske de Fijter, ODH state epidemiologist and bureau chief of infectious diseases.

“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 as well as the health of classmates and the community.” 

Logan County Health Commissioner Dr. Boyd Hoddinott noted that the new meningococcal vaccine requirements that began with the 2016-17 school year continue for the upcoming year. 

“This fall will be the second school year that the new meningococcal vaccine requirement is in effect under Ohio Revised Code,” he said in a release. “All incoming seventh-graders must have one dose of the meningococcal vaccine, and all incoming 12th-graders must have a second dose of the vaccine.”

To help area families meet these requirements, the health district, 310 S. Main St., is extending its immunization clinic hours throughout this month. Clinics are being offered every from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. each Thursday during August. 

Health officials said unvaccinated children are at an increased risk for contracting vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps and rubella. They also may spread diseases, like pertussis, 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 health conditions. 

“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,” de Fijter said.

For more information on the meningococcal vaccine and other vaccination requirements, visit www.odh.ohio.gov/immunization.