County to parents: Don’t forget vaccinations

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UTICA — The Oneida County Health Department issued a reminder to parents on Friday to remember vaccination requirements for school and urged all eligible students to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

“It’s almost back to school time,” the county’s announcement begins. “Kids will soon be picking out their backpacks and first day of school outfits and parents will be busy purchasing new lunch bags, notebooks and pencils on their children’s school supply list. Don’t forget the most important task on the list: vaccinations.”

With school set to begin in five weeks for most area students, county officials are reminding parents that all required doses of vaccines on the recommended schedule must be received in order for a child to attend day care and pre-K through 12th grade in New York unless exempt due to a valid medical reason.  Although not required, the COVID-19 vaccine is also available to all children 12 years or older, the health department said, adding the vaccines are safe and highly effective at protecting children from potentially life-threatening diseases.

“They provide immunity before children are exposed to the disease. Not only do vaccines protect the person receiving the vaccine, but also help prevent the spread of disease to others especially those who are more vulnerable to serious complications,” the announcement adds.

Children who receive the Pfizer vaccine by Tuesday, Aug. 3, and complete the two-shot series on time will be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the first day of school, officials added.

Talk to your child’s doctor to make sure your child is up to date with all required vaccines. Also, if you are still undecided, have a conversation with your child’s doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is widely available throughout the community.

Appointments can be made at www.ocgov.net or https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/. For more information about immunizations, visit https://www.ocgov.net//oneida/health/ImmunVaccines.

The department warns that the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused a delay in important check-ups and vaccinations for students and that any child who does not have up to date required immunizations may be excluded from school.

“Check with your child’s doctor and schedule your appointment now if needed,” the department adds.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also put a lot of stress on children, parents and schools. Positive COVID-19 cases caused illness and deaths, but also caused countless quarantines for children resulting in children missing important life events such as proms, graduations, sporting events, tests and other events, the county added.

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