Parents urged to have kids vaccinated
The Nevada County Public Health Department is urging parents to immunize their children before school begins next month.
State law requires children entering kindergarten to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (also known as whooping cough), polio, Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella (or German measles) and chickenpox.
But parents can choose a personal-belief exemption that allows schools to admit unvaccinated children.
The local health department also is recommending the new tetanus booster and vaccines against meningitis, chickenpox and cervical cancer to preteens and young adults.
“There was an outbreak of pertussis in late November and December last year that carried on into January and an outbreak of chickenpox in March and April this year,” said Joseph Iser, public health officer and director of the public health department.
“What that indicates is our children aren’t properly immunized,” Iser said. “There’s a risk of them contracting other (more serious) diseases.”
Children who aren’t vaccinated can contract preventable diseases that could infect other students who can’t be vaccinated due to medical conditions, or elders in their families who have a weak immune system, Iser said.
In Nevada County, 14 percent of parents use personal-belief exemptions, compared to 1.3 percent statewide, according to a report released last year by First 5 Nevada County.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a federal program called Vaccines for Children, said Karen Sayer, public health nurse with the county health department.
The program offers free vaccines to families that have no insurance, have MediCal, or fall under the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program, Sayer said. The program also assists Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, or people whose insurance does not cover vaccines, Sayer added.
“We are trying to reach out to all families and help everyone have access to immunization,” Sayer said.
To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4229.
County offers low-cost vaccination
The Nevada County Public Health Department offers immunization clinics during August, charging $10 for children and full price for adults:
• Aug. 8: From 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Sierra Presbyterian Church, 175 Ridge Road, Nevada City; from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Longs Drug parking lot in south county at Combie Road and Highway 49.
• Aug. 9: From 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Penn Valley Fire Department, 10513 Spenceville Road; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grass Valley Veteran’s Memorial Building, 255 South Auburn St.
• Aug. 10: From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road.
• Aug. 13: From 8:30 a.m. to noon, at the Glenbrook Apartments, 265 Sutton Way, Grass Valley.
For more information about school immunization requirements, vaccine recommendations and vaccine-preventable diseases, contact your pediatrician, school nurse or the Nevada County Public Health Department’s immunization program at 265-7265.
– Source: Nevada County Public Health Department
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