Health officials encouraging parents to put vaccines on top of back-to-school lists

Posted at 6:09 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 18:09:50-04

Fall is inching closer, which means it's back-to-school time. But going back to school means more than just back to school shopping - parents also need to make sure their students' vaccines are up-to-date.

Doctor Skyler Kalady with the Cleveland Clinic says, surprisingly, there are still outbreaks here in Cleveland, which could be easily prevented through vaccinations.

The goal with vaccinations is to provide "Herd Immunity," meaning outbreaks are less common through mass immunizations.

August is also Immunization Awareness Month, so the Ohio Department of Health is partnering with the CDC to spread this message. Health experts say vaccines should be on the top of back-to-school checklists.

This fall marks the second school year in Ohio with the new meningococcal vaccine requirement. All incoming seventh graders are required to get one dose of the vaccine, while 12th graders must get a second dose.

“A lot of people have the misconception that none of these illnesses are present anymore, but that is not true,” said Dr. Kalady. “We certainly have pertussis, which is also commonly known as whooping cough, in addition we do unfortunately have we have meningococcemia or that bad bacterial infection, we’ve had measles outbreak in the recent years, as well as chickenpox intermittently.”

By not getting vaccinated, Dr. Kalady says children are more likely to get preventable diseases and can spread them to others.

Parents can check with their child's doctor, school or local health department to find out more about any specific vaccine requirements.