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Back To School? Make Sure Vaccines Are Up To Date

National Public Health Information Coalition

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. For parents with kids headed off to school, that means it’s time to make sure they’re up to date on their vaccines.


Every school and childcare facility in Wyoming requires kids to have certain vaccines like tetanus and hepatitis B. Kim Deti with the Wyoming Department of Health said if children are not up to date they can be asked to stay home from school.


Deti suggested the best way to know if a child is due for a vaccine is to ask your healthcare provider: “Is there something my child needs to get this year before school?” But Deti said students don’t need new vaccinations every year.


“There is a big set you need to get before your start kindergarten. In fourth and fifth grade there is another set. And for teenagers there are some others,” Deti said.


Double-checking before school starts can prevent a hassle later Deti said because students who are not up to date can be asked to stay home from school.


“By having your vaccine you are protecting yourself,” Deti said, “and you are also helping protect others in your community.”


If healthcare costs are a concern, Deti said there are opportunities throughout Wyoming for free and low-cost vaccinations – like through the Wyoming Vaccinates Important People program.


There is an exemption process for religious objections and medical conditions. For more information visit immunizewyoming.com.


Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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