Education Celebrations: Immunizations are a good thing
By Diane Boyett
July 27, 2014 at 2:27 a.m.
Updated July 28, 2014 at 2:28 a.m.
Many years have passed since I got my very first set of back-to-school immunizations.
I do not recall that they were painful, but I do recall that my mother presented me with a musical bear that played a song. I grew up thinking the name of the song was "Vaccination."
I was a young adult before I learned the real name of the song was "Fascination." I still have the bear, and I still have the strong belief that vaccinations are a good thing.
My parents grew up with the fear of polio. My mother developed whooping cough in high school and had a terrible case of what was called the German measles shortly after my sister was born. My sister developed chicken pox, and my parents decided to "let me catch them to just get it over with." I never developed the rash.
We knew if my sister or I came home with the mumps that "Daddy would have to leave because it would be bad for a man to get the mumps." We did not have a clue what that meant at the time, but wanting Daddy to stay at home, we feared the mumps.
Most of the diseases that children just a couple of generations ago endured now have immunizations. There is a long list of diseases that can be prevented now. Many of those diseases are life-threatening, especially for the medically fragile children in our schools.
With the start of school near, it is the right time to pull out the shot records for your children and make certain everything is up to date. Students who are not current on their immunizations will not be allowed to attend schools in VISD.
"No shots, no school" is part of the Texas Administrative Code and Texas Education Code.
Murphey Stuart, VISD health services coordinator and a registered nurse, said the most common time parents get behind on the required immunizations is when the child is first entering school and again as the child is entering the seventh grade. In addition to the booster shots that are spread out over the elementary years, all incoming seventh-grade students are required to have three shots, including the meningococcal vaccination before the first day of school. The meningococcal immunization is the vaccination that offers protection from some of the bacteria that can cause bacterial meningitis.
The VISD website's "Back to School" page includes more information on required immunizations. You can also consult your family health care professional or the Department of State Health Services and Victoria City-County Health Department for information. School nurses will also be available during registration to provide information. However, the school district cannot provide the immunizations.
An immunization clinic sponsored by the DeTar Healthcare System and the Texas A&M Health Science Center in conjunction with Victoria school district is available from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday at the field house next to Memorial Stadium. There is a $25 administration fee. Insurance billing will be available for clients with private insurance.
We strongly encourage parents to check the status of their children now, so they can be ready to head back to class Aug. 25, ready to learn.
Diane Boyett is the communications director for Victoria school district. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.