Time to Immunize

With the start of school just a little over one month away, it’s time to start making your “to do” lists for back-to-school shopping. Don’t forget to include required immunizations (shots) on your list. Regular vaccinations are an important part of keeping your child healthy and safe. All school age children, from preschoolers to college students, should be vaccinated.  Most illnesses that can be prevented by vaccines still survive in the world, some even in the United States. Measles has been in the news a lot this year because more and more people are making the decision to not vaccinate their children. This causes the disease to spread more quickly among those children who are not vaccinated and can sometimes be very dangerous if a child gets sick with Measles. The Four Corners District (Butler, Polk, Seward, and York Counties) has a high vaccination rate; meaning many people are choosing to get the needed shots for their children. This is a main reason that, so far, no Measles cases have been reported here. This is a very good thing for the children in our area. By keeping your child current on their shots, you are protecting not only their health, but the health of friends, neighbors, classmates and other members of the community. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and varicella (chicken pox) are some of the diseases that can be prevented through immunizations.

The Department of Health and Human Services of Nebraska requires that the parents of all children starting at a private or public school must have one of the following forms to give to the school proving their vaccine position:

A record showing that the student is up-to-date on all vaccines for their age.

A letter signed by a doctor stating that the vaccine(s) would be harmful to the student or family members.

An affidavit signed by a legal person stating that the vaccine conflicts with the religious beliefs of the student and/or family.

Immunizations, like any medicine, can cause side effects. Most are mild such as "local" reactions to pain, redness or swelling at the site of where the shot was given, or a low-grade fever. Remember deciding not to immunize, carries a lot of risks.

Immunizations are one of the best ways parents can protect their children from serious, and sometimes life-threatening diseases. Make an appointment with your doctor or local public health clinic to get your children immunized. Be sure to bring along a current list of shots your child has had at each visit. Keep this list as part of your child's permanent health record. If you are unsure if they have had all of the needed shots, you can call your doctor’s office or local health department.

For more information on back-to-school immunizations, contact Four Corners Health Department @ 1-877-337-3573 or email: info@fourcorners.ne.gov.