The Columbus Health Department is urging parents to get their children vaccinated before heading back to school next week. The department partnered with Walmart Saturday to help dozens of kids get ahead of the curve.
There is a list of immunizations for children going into Pre-K or Kindergarten and a list for children going into the sixth grade. The common shot on both lists is the chicken pox vaccine. News Three's Naomi Keitt spoke with parents who were glad that they could get this vaccine and others at Walmart Saturday.
"We signed a few pieces of paper and Jackson got back there, screamed at the top of his lungs, but we got it done," said Amanda Bolding.
She got her five year old son, Jackson, vaccinated for school. She said the Walmart clinic is an easy way to check one important thing off of her long back-to-school list.
"I know he needs them and I would rather get it done now and have everything in order instead of waiting and having people call me up," said Bolding.
There are several vaccination requirements for students in Muscogee County. One of the most important is the chicken pox vaccine. Students get the first does when they are babies, possibly a second one in kindergarten, and a booster shot in middle school.
"If you don't have that when you actually get chicken pox at an older age it can kill you, so it's really important to make sure your kids have their vaccinations," said Ashley Cobb.
Kindergarten aged students will also need 2 doses of Hepatitis A and possibly a second dose of measles and mumps vaccines.
For children entering the 6th grade, they will need another round of shots to protect against measles and mumps and 1 dose of rubella, which helps protect against a viral infection.
Ashley Cobb at the Walmart Pharmacy said shots don't end just because you graduate high school.
"I think people forget that sometimes when you are starting your freshman year of college you do need shots so we do have those," said Cobb.
If you missed the Walmart clinic, the Health Department offers vaccinations during the week. Officials also encourage parents to visit the Health Department to get the necessary immunization forms and records before school starts.
A child entering a day care center, private or public school in Muscogee County for the first time must have Form 3231 (Immunizations) and Form 3300 (Vision, Hearing, Dental). All students are also required to have a certified birth certificate. All of these forms are available at the Health Department.
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