Doctors talk vaccines as kids head back to school

The Arkansas Department of Health reported an increase in immunizations for the seven out of...
The Arkansas Department of Health reported an increase in immunizations for the seven out of twelve required vaccinations this year compared to 2021.(Source: KARK-TV)
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 9:02 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK/KAIT) – As kids head back to school, it means you will need to make sure your kids stay up to date on required vaccinations.

“I got an email from his school stating that they are offering to pay for vaccinations before the children return back to campus,” said parent Barbara Chase.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported an increase in immunizations for seven out of twelve required vaccinations this year compared to 2021.

“Vaccines save lives. They work. These vaccines are 90 to 99% effective,” said Arkansas Children’s Hospital Pediatrician, Laura Sisterhen.

Dr. Sisterhen told content partner KARK that from kindergarten to seventh grade, the kids need several vaccines including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis/whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and hepatitis A and B.

Once they are in the seventh grade, kids then are required to receive, “a vaccine that protects against meningitis, caused by bacteria called meningococcus,” said Dr. Sisterhen.

The ADH requires all kids attending public and private schools to get required vaccinations.

Barbara Chase told KARK that her son’s school is allowing children who do not get vaccinated to attend virtually.

“We have options, utilize them. Instead of fighting about anti-vax and vaccination, just use your resources,” she said.

According to KARK, students can get individual exemptions for three reasons: Medical (requires a physician’s letter), religious, and philosophical.

Dr. Sisterhen said if you have concerns about vaccinations, talk with your doctor.

“A child’s pediatrician is committed to the health and wellbeing of children, they want to have conversations with you,” she said.

For more information, visit the Arkansas Department of Health’s website.

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