Commonwealth playing catch-up on childhood immunizations

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Roanoke City and Allegheny Health Districts will host back-school vaccine clinics for kids K-12. Medical professionals say now more than ever, it’s more important to get your child immunized for the classroom.

“Children have not been going to their regularly scheduled checkups with their PCPs, and therefore they’re behind on vaccines,” says Public Health Nurse Supervisor Jerryann West, who says many visits had to be delayed or scheduled due to the pandemic.

“We’re playing catch-up, and then there are the new requirements in Virginia for students to be vaccinated.”

West says the Hepatitis A vaccine is now required for Kindergarteners.

“Over the past year, year and a half across the country, there have been many Hepatitis A outbreaks, especially among adults.”

CDC data showed HPV vaccine administration declined by more than 63% among 9-17 year-olds from 2018 to 2019.

Doses of Tdap also decreased by over 60 percent.

The Tdap, Meningococcal, and HPV vaccine is now a must for rising seventh graders, and high school seniors will need the Meningococcal vaccine as well as a booster dose.

“It’s required for most colleges and universities where you’re living in those dormitory-type settings or apartment buildings. You’re very close together so if one person were to have it, it would spread very rapidly so that’s why it’s important to be vaccinated. It is a vaccine-preventable disease.”

You can go online to the health department’s website for more information about the upcoming clinics and immunization records required for your child’s school.

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