School age children need to have up-to-date vaccinations

With children well into the first few weeks of school, First District Health Unit wants to remind parents that the immunization deadline is October 1st. If your child is not up to date on vaccines they will not be allowed in school after that deadline. Meghan von Behren visited with First District to see what parents need to know.

Starting a new school year is exciting, but there are some things that need to be checked off the list before kids get settled into their new class.

First District Health Unit says specific vaccines are required for kindergarteners, seventh graders, and high schoolers.

"Last year we had a big change with that juniors in High school they need their second meningitis vaccine. Which is a very important vaccine to protect them against. So most parents might not be aware of that one. When they turn 16 a child needs to update their meningitis shot,” says Lacey McNichols RN and Immunizations Coordinator at First District Health.

McNichols says that during the school year kids can be more susceptible to catching something..

"When you're in school you're in close quarters. So diseases bugs, viruses they spread pretty rapidly. So if we have a vaccine out there to prevent a certain illness we want to stop that illness from being spread to any of the kids at the school,” says Lacey McNichols.

With a nationwide outbreak of measles, McNichols says it's only a matter of time until a case shows up in North Dakota.

"We have lots of great vaccines out there to help keep things out of the schools such as chicken pox, measles. We want to make sure we have that 95 percent coverage rate to keep that herd immunity and keep that virus out of the school,” says Lacey McNichols

Keeping kids safe and healthy for the school year.

If you are a parent and cannot cover the cost of vaccines for your child there are state programs that can help. For more information on how you can get help with vaccines visit https://www.ndhealth.gov/immunize/