RHHD offering free immunization clinics ahead start of school
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Summertime fun may be well underway across the metro-Richmond area, but the start of school is just around the corner.
It’s also a reminder for parents to make sure their student is up to date on all their shots.
“Immunizations help build a response to these diseases, but also it’s required to be able to attend schools,” said Virginia Slattum, Richmond-Henrico Health Districts Community Health Nurse Supervisor.
Proof of vaccination is required under Virginia law to attend daycare along with both public and private schools.
For the little ones heading into Pre-K or kindergarten, that includes DTaP, Polio and MMR, among others.
For rising seventh graders, that list includes Tdap and Meningococcal Conjugate, which requires a second dose for students entering 12th grade.
You can find the complete list of childhood immunizations here.
“We know that kids have had so many school disruptions over the past few years, and so one of the ways to help keep kids safe, healthy and in school is to make sure they are up to date on all of their children’s vaccines,” said Dr. Tiffany Kimbrough, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
A 2021 Virginia Annual Immunization Survey reported a drop in kindergarten entry vaccination rates from about 85% to 80%.
A Fall 2022 report now has that number at almost 90%.
“We’re seeing a lot of catch-up in the kids who are four and under, but we still have some work to do in our adolescent patients just because sometimes they’re doing so great they’re not in the office as much,” said Dr. Kimbrough.
Nonetheless, the push is on to ensure parents know the responsibility and resources, with free clinics starting this week.
RHHD will host a series of clinics for those immunizations and physicals at various locations through Aug. 17. But appointments are required.
“The reason why it’s important that we immunize our kids is so that we don’t have these outbreaks that could possibly happen. So that’s why it’s important for everyone,” said Candiece Bourne, Richmond Public Schools Nurse Specialist.
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