Back to school vaccinations

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- As we approach the final days of summer break, many parents and their kids are already gearing up for the upcoming school year. Health officials say vaccinations should be a necessary part of your kids back to school to do list.

Vaccinations may not be a child's favorite part of preparing for their new school year, but health officials say it's a vital one when it comes to keeping your child safe and healthy.

Kristin Lynch, has three kids she will be sending off to school in a just a few weeks and understands the importance of making sure her little ones are up to date on their immunizations.

"I think it's important that we follow the guidelines from the health department. I think it's nice that they give us guidelines for vaccinations," said Lynch.

According to Colorado state law, children attending public school must be vaccinated to prevent disease.

And The Mesa County Health Department wants to remind parents about a newer vaccination.

"One we really wanna make sure people know about is called the Tdap Vaccine, which is Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, and that's the one we see the least compliance with because it's relatively new," said Veronica Daehn Harvey of The Mesa County Health Department.

Tricia Tittle, understands the seriousness of vaccinating her daughter, Hannah, after she witnessed one of Hannah's friends come down with Meningitis because another parent didn't vaccinate their child.

"She vaccinates and she would have vaccinated him, but he was too young, and by relying on other people to do it and that doesn't happen and she ended up having him in the hospital for two weeks," said Tittle.

Health department officials warn parents that schools do check immunization records and now is the time to make sure your children are up to date.

“That immunization record in and up to date, then they'll have to call their parents and it would just be so much easier if we could get it done before school started," said Daehn Harvey.

The Tdap vaccination is required for all incoming kindergarten and sixth-grade students entering school this fall. For sixth-graders this is an additional requirement, even if the child was current on vaccinations at the beginning of kindergarten.

Tdap vaccines will be available at the Intellitec Community Resource Fair on Saturday July 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the college and they are always available at The Mesa County Health Department.

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