Parents rush to get back-to-school immunizations for kids - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Parents rush to get back-to-school immunizations for kids

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Pencils, paper and backpacks aren’t the only items on kids’ back-to-school checklists, it’s also time for students to get their vaccines. 

Pre-school, kindergarten and 7th grade students need to be immunized and depending on where they’re going to school, many college students do too.

The rush is on at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department with many parents making last minute appointments for their kids.

“The shots are a moment of discomfort for some very valuable protection,” said Connie Buecker, RN and the health department’s Communicable Disease Clinics Program Manager.

Buecker says several vaccines are required before daycare and that list grows by the time children reach kindergarten.    

Meningitis vaccines were recommended for college students for years and then became a requirement at the majority of colleges and universities. Buecker says some private schools have their own requirements.

Healthcare providers say college freshman living in dorms are one of the groups at higher risk for getting the infection.

"You're coming from a lot of different locations. You come together, you're often very intimately housed with people. You're sharing rooms with people you've never shared rooms with before and you're sharing food. You have kissing and drinks are shared and it's an easy way for bacteria to get shared as well,” said Buecker.

If you’d like to make an appointment to get your child vaccinated you can call the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department at (423) 209-8050.

To see a full list of vaccines required for students in Tennessee, click here.

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