Countdown to school, kids may need vaccinations

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Clark County schools open back up for another academic year on Aug. 13. With the first day of school just three weeks away, the Southern Nevada Health District is reminding parents to get their kids vaccinated.

Jahaira Santiago isn’t the biggest fan of shots.

“I was scared, I was about to cry in there,” Satiago said, an incoming 7th grader.

But after overcoming that initial fear, she says it’s worth it.

“I’m happy to get these, because now I’m OK and I can be healthy.”

Jahaira will be in 7th grade, and she and her classmates need to get certain vaccines before the start of the school year. That includes the newer requirement of a meningitis shot. Other required shots vary by grade level.

“You avoid sickness, contagiousness and for her health. It’s perfect for her to get those shots for her to avoid all that,” said Maria Cruz, Jahaira’s mother.

SNHD Vaccination Information

Students who do not have their shots by the first day of class will be sent home. If you’re new to town, look up Nevada’s requirements.

“Nevada is requiring hepatitis A, some states don’t require hepatitis A, so the parent might want to check their shot record, just to make sure that they have all the vaccines,” said Meekee Chong-Dao,
community health nurse supervisor, Southern Nevada Health District.

And don’t wait until the last minute.

“It’ll just get busier and busier as we get closer to school, so I encourage everybody to come down now,” Chong-Dao said.

Most vaccines are covered by insurance. If you don’t have insurance and can afford the vaccines or admit fee, the Southern Nevada Health District says it will not turn you away, the fees will be waived like they were for Jahaira.

“Doctors that don’t discriminate anyone who don’t have the resources to get shots, that’s important,” Cruz said.

“Since I already have everything, like shots and like that, she doesn’t have to worry about me now,” Jahaira said.

The health district is holding a back-to-school health fair on Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can get your shots at the district but they recommend getting them earlier so you can beat the crowds.

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