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Back to school
by Andrea Tyrell
Aug 01, 2013 | 1269 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With school around the corner, all students must be up-to-date with their immunizations.
With school around the corner, all students must be up-to-date with their immunizations.
Classes starts in less than two weeks for local youths, and by Nevada law, all students, school-aged and those at the university level, must be up-to-date with their immunizations before they set foot inside a classroom. For parents looking to squeeze in last-minute doctor appointments to get such vaccines, they only need to spend the day at the mall with the kids.

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Legends at the Sparks Marina, children from infant to age 18 can receive all school required vaccinations while supplies last. Some insurances will be accepted but insurance is also not required. Organizers ask that parents bring their insurances card if have one. 

On Friday, (8/9) from 4 to 8 p.m. at 1580 Hymer Ave., Suite 120 in Sparks, children from infant to 18 can also receive all school vaccinations while supplies last at no cost. Saint Mary’s Immunization Clinic at 1625 E. Prater Way, Suite 102 in Sparks offers all school-required immunizations Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for children infant to age 18 at varying costs. Appointments are required.

Before the age of 5, and before entering any kindergarden at any public, private or charter school in Nevada, a child must have five doses of the DTP (diphteria/tetanus/pertussis) vaccine, four doses of the Polio vaccine, two doses of the MMR (measles/mumps/rebella) vaccine, two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine, three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine and two doses of Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine. In Nevada, if a college student plans on living in any form of student housing and is under age 23, the student must prove that they received the above mentioned vaccines and must be vaccinated against meningitis.

Families that don’t have insurance can qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program, a federally funded program that provides free vaccines to those who can’t afford them. In order to qualify, the child applying must be Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, underinsured or a Native American/American Indian.

According to the World Health Organization, high vaccination coverage of children by the age of 2 has resulted in historically low levels of most vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. Despite the low reported numbers, diseases like pertussis (whooping cough) is one the rise. Doctors attribute those rising cases to parents who refuse to vaccinate their children due to rumors and a lack of vaccination knowledge.

Some parents are concerned about the side effects of vaccinations; that these immunizations can cause minor illnesses like fever and headaches and in some cases long-term aliments such as autism and asthma. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, vaccinations, such as the MMR vaccine, do not cause autism or other brain disfunction nor personality disorders.

For parents who chose not to vaccinate their children, they can file one of three waivers with Washoe County School District, said Dana Balchuns, the director of Student Health Services at the Washoe County School District. With option one, parents can claim religious indifferences for not getting their child immunized. Option two requires the child’s physician to state why the child cannot be immunized and list the medical reasons against it. Option three is for “children in transition.” Due to a federal law created after Hurricane Katrina, homeless or displaced children who lost medical records to fire, flood or another natural disasters can be waived of immunization requirements. These children will be admitted into education facilities until records can be found or when the child gets properly immunized.

For more information about Sparks community vaccination events, visit
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