This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Fall is the time when the temperature cools, vacations end and kids head back to the classroom. Students throughout the Carson City, Douglas County and Lyon County School Districts will return to school Aug. 19. Parents are scrambling to get their children set up with all the necessities — new notebooks, school supplies and clothes — but there’s another must-have item that Carson City Health and Human Services wants to remind parents to consider: vaccinations.
Vaccinations are required for all students enrolled in school, unless the student has applied for an exemption. Vaccinations are a healthy idea, because they protect not only the child who has been immunized, but vaccinating the majority of children creates a “cocoon” for others who are unable to receive vaccinations themselves. This community-based approach to vaccination helps keep all kids healthy and safe from diseases such as measles, mumps, chicken pox and whooping cough.
To help parents beat the back to school rush and to accommodate all the children who need to be vaccinated, Carson City Health and Human Services and Douglas County Community Health will offer a “Back to School” immunization program with additional clinic hours for school immunizations. Now through Aug. 16, all required school vaccinations will be available on a walk-in basis at the Long Street clinic in Carson City and at Douglas County Community Health located at 1538 U.S. Highway 395 N. The hours for this clinic are 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Veronica Galas, clinic manager for Carson City Health and Human Services, believes in the importance of vaccines but understands the stresses parents face in trying to prepare for Back to School. “We want to make it as convenient as possible for them to obtain the necessary vaccines for their children,” she says.
Clinic staffers would like to remind parents to please bring the child’s immunization record. Regular fees will apply during this event, and as usual, the clinic will accept Medicaid, Nevada Check-up and many private insurances. A reduced-fee schedule will apply for those who are uninsured, underinsured and American Indian or Alaska Native.
Regular Thursday immunization clinic hours in Carson City and Monday afternoon hours in Douglas County will still be in effect for those who are unable to attend during the Back to School event.
Flu vaccine is not yet available for this year, but is recommended for everyone. Look for flu vaccine clinics in the area schools beginning Sept. 16.
For more information about other Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthy carsoncity.org or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.