KOB has tips for back to school vaccinations
Posted at: 08/08/2012 7:59 AM
| Updated at: 08/10/2012 8:04 AM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Before your child heads back to class, he or she may need vaccinations for school.
A statewide program is ensuring everyone can get the necessary immunizations at no cost.
The Alamosa Public Health Office off Coors Blvd. and Gonzales Rd. is one of many places offering this service.
Pediatrician Lance Chilton at the Young Children’s Health Center is donating his time as well. T
he program “Got Shots? Protect Tots!” is possible through the Federal Vaccines for Children Program.
"It's certainly very important that children get their vaccines and since not all insurances cover vaccines not all children are covered by insurance it's important that there be a way to cover cost of immunization," said Dr. Chilton. The program is in its 11th year. "Every summer we have almost 2,000 kids who get immunized, which to me is an indication that there's a need," said Anna Pentler, Executive Director of New Mexico Immunization Coalition.
“This year we have an increased urgency about making sure that everyone's protected against pertussis (Whooping Cough) in particular,” said Chilton. There's a lot of pertussis around the West in general and in New Mexico in particular."
Dr. Chilton says it’s not clear what has lead to the spike in cases. There are 84 immunization Got Shots? Protect Tots! clinics around the state. They run from August 4th through the 18th.
Some clinics will be held on Saturdays.
"The main purpose is to allow parents and kids to come in without an appointment and at no cost to them," said Pentler. Dr. Chilton advises that you have your child’s immunization record with you. And try not to make vaccines a scary thing. "Sometimes we have parents threaten their children with a shot if they're not behaving well. And shots are not a punishment. They're a gift. They're a way to prevent disease," he said.
And if your little one is already terrified of needles: "If the child has a favorite toy or a blanket that provides security," added Chilton.