As parents busy themselves purchasing new lunchboxes, notebooks and #2 pencils checking off their back-to-school lists, they might be missing their most important “To Do” item: their child’s required vaccinations.
As of June 13th this year,New York State eliminated all non-medical vaccination exemptions for public, private and parochial schools, pre-K through grades 12, which includes, child care centers, nursery schools, and Charter schools. This means all children without a valid medical exemption issued by a licensed physician in New York State must be vaccinated, or they will be excluded from school.
Vaccination is important because it not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of diseases to others-especially those who are most vulnerable to serious complications, such as infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.
Anyone who has not made an appointment for their child’s back-to-school vaccinations should call now. If parents wait too long to make appointments, they may have trouble getting in to see their physicians, vaccinations could run in short supply or their child could be excluded from school.
Parents who have questions about what vaccinations their child might need, should contact their primary care provider.The Oneida County Health Department has information on back-to-school vaccination schedules as well as questions and answers regarding measles and the new law eliminating vaccination exemptions at: GetMeaselsAnswers.com.
I urge all parents to start the school year off right by offering this important protection, and to keep their children on a regular immunization schedule for the health and safety of all.
— Phyllis D. Ellis, BSN, MS, F.A.C.H.E, Oneida County Director of Health