Parents reminded to check student immunizations

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Believe it or not, the start of school is just about a month away now.  That's why local school and health leaders want to remind parents about the importance of making sure their children have the proper immunizations.

It's parents with rising kindergartners and sixth graders that have the most to worry about. The immunizations are not just about safety. They can determine whether or not your child is actually allowed to start school.

Each year, we see parents scrambling to get their children vaccinated before school starts.

Charlene Rodgers, the coordinator for nursing services at Richmond Public Schools says, "it is utmost important for these students to get the vaccines, to get them on time.  We are encouraging parents if you have not taken your child for the vaccinations to do it now, because we are nearing the opening of school, September 7."

Kindergartners must be up to date on their vaccines, and parents should know that one change this year is the requirement for a second chicken pox immunization.  Kindergartners with no vaccines will not be allowed to start school.  For sixth graders, it's the TDAP booster that's a must have.

Rodgers says, "they will not be able to enter the building until they have complied with the state law."

School leaders want parents to consult their family doctor or call the health department, which offers back to school immunizations for free.

In Chesterfield County, principals are even using the school's parent link system to communicate the importance of vaccines with families.  School systems also want to remind parents of rising kindergartens that just because their students were enrolled in Pre-Mk doesn't mean they have automatically fulfilled the health requirements.

Rodgers says, "the parents would need to have the physical examination as well on kindergarten students, if they were in Pre-Mk last year, they would a new physical for this school year to enter kindergarten. "

For more information about required immunizations where you live, just contact your local school system or health department.

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