REGION – Central Michigan District Health Department wants to remind parents that immunizations are just one of the many things to think about when a new school year rolls around, especially if your child is entering kindergarten, 7th grade or changing school districts. Immunizations are one of the best protections you can provide for your kids, your family, and your community. It is a public health priority to protect our communities against diseases that are prevented by a vaccine. Due to the pandemic, there are also many individuals that are not protected. Therefore, this is one of the most important times to work on these prevention efforts — specifically, immunizations. We highly encourage vaccine appointments to catch up on these important immunizations for both kids and adults. All vaccines are available at your local health department office or from many local doctors’ offices.
School-aged children need to be protected against Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough), Diphtheria, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal and Chickenpox (Varicella). The number of doses needed varies by age. Immunization requirements for school-aged children can be found here. Childcare and preschool immunization requirements can be found here. This year, it is more important than ever that kids are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. With the current COVID pandemic, just as with any communicable disease, when a child is not protected with immunizations, they are at higher risk of getting sick. When there is an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease in a school, the children who are not protected with the appropriate vaccine can and most likely will be excluded from school until the outbreak or quarantine period is over. Students will not be excluded if they have not received a COVID vaccination under the current recommendations. However, we still highly encourage COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID vaccine is safe and has been approved for children, starting at 6 months of age.
Vaccinations will keep your kids both healthy and in school! If a parent or guardian does not wish their child to have any or all of the school-required immunizations, they must meet with a registered nurse from a local health department to discuss the benefits of vaccines and potential risks of vaccine-preventable diseases. As of January 2015, schools require nonmedical immunization waivers for those kids who are not fully immunized, and these waivers will be completed during the local health department education appointment. This rule does not take away the right to obtain a nonmedical waiver. Immunization waivers for medical reasons must be obtained from a physician.
Staying at home as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in keeping your children safe; however, many children missed getting their routine childhood immunizations. As the new school year approaches, it is very important to talk with your physician or local health department to make sure your children are fully immunized and ready for school! Central Michigan District Health Department provides immunizations by appointment for those with and without medical insurance coverage. A small fee may apply for immunizations received; however, no child is turned away for immunizations based on an inability to pay. For more information, to set up an appointment for immunizations, or to discuss nonmedical waivers, please call:
- Arenac County: 989-846-6541, option 2
- Clare County: 989-539-6731, option 2
- Gladwin County: 989-426-9431, option 2
- Isabella County: 989-773-5921, option 2
- Osceola County: 231-832-5532, option 2
- Roscommon County: 989-366-9166, option 2
This article has been brought to you by Central Michigan District Health Department, which serves the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon. Visit our website at www.cmdhd.org and LIKE Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook.