Student vaccinations due for new school year

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Staying healthy

Vaccinations and shots for district schools:

Preschool DTap, polio, MMR, Hib, pneumonia, hepatitis B and chicken pox by two years of age

Kindergarten DTaP, polio, MMR, hepatitis B and chicken pox

Sixth grade Tdap

10th grade Tdap

— Throughout 18 years with the Moffat County School District, Theresa Moyer has seen a lot of changes, but children still need vaccinations.

"You know, we went from all paperwork to all computers. We went from three nurses in the district to one nurse that oversees the health technicians," Moyer said. With vaccinations, "some of the requirements have changed, but we still make sure all the kids have them."

Moyer is a full-time health technician at East Elementary in Craig. When school starts Tuesday, every incoming kindergartner needs to have certain vaccinations.

Parents must make sure their kindergarten children have vaccinations for hepatitis B, polio, chicken pox, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis).

For MMR and chicken pox, even if a child had a vaccination when he or she was a newborn, he or she will need another one before going to school.

"It's important to the health and wellbeing of the child, and of course the family and the community," Moyer said.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, at 745 Russell St., next to The Memorial Hospital, has scheduled a walk-in clinic from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 30.

Before then, the VNA has vaccine clinics by appointment only from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

The most anyone under 18 years old can pay for a required vaccine is $14, VNA Administrative Assistant Kathy Simpson said.

The Vaccines for Children program provides a sliding payment scale dependent on size and income of a household. Those with large families or low incomes who qualify for the program would pay less.

"Also, they should make sure they bring their shot record," Simpson said. "It's so we know exactly what they need and they have an updated record to take to their school or college."

Students going into sixth and 10th grades need a TDap shot, which also treats diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

Pertussis causes whooping cough, which has a higher infection rate in Colorado than the national average, said Jacque Malley, a registered public health nurse with the VNA.

Malley thinks vaccinations are important for everyone, and there are some she recommends that are not required by the Colorado State Board of Health.

"They're all important, particularly if you're exposed (to a disease)," Malley said. "We encourage (children) to get meningococcal vaccines (for meningitis) when they're 11 to 12 years of age."

Malley raised children herself, and when they went to school, she made sure they had vaccinations, even if sometimes they were a little late.

"When you raise kids, a bunch of other stuff comes up," she said, "but I think everyone knows they're definitely important for students."

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