SHERMAN, TX-The first day of school is only days away and doctors' offices flooded with parents and students, trying to get their required shots at the last minute. Victoria Maranan tells us how you can avoid the wait and which vaccinations your student may need.
Area hospitals and health offices experienced a surge of patients coming in for back to school immunizations, like doctors at TexomaCare who saw more than 140 patients a day just in the past couple of weeks. I spoke with a health professional, as well as a parent, on why it's important to keep shots current.
Sherry Bryant and her three kids waited in the Grayson county health department lobby to get the required shots for the upcoming school year.
"I waited until today because Sherman is closer to my house than Denison, and I had to wait until this time because I have work all day," she said.
Bryant is one of thousands of parents who decided to hold off getting their kids immunized until a few days before class starts and Grayson county health department's Amanda Ortez said they see it every school year.
"Many individuals that have waited until now were three days into the clinic and they only have two full days until they start back. So, they want to avoid those long lines and get vaccinated and their get their child properly immunized now because they don't want to miss that first day of school," she said.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, students are required to get shots for Hepatitis A and B, Polio, measles mumps rubella, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, among others. A good thing, because Ortez said children are exposed to hundreds of germs and infections while they're in school.
"They can be subjected to an array of different diseases and a vaccine just aid to prevent or help to prevent those type of infections. Just like earlier this year, we did see, in the United States, a measles outbreak...so it helps against things like that."
She advises parents to take control of their children's health, as well as their own.
"They really need to take that extra step, be proactive, get in, get your child immunized. And also it's good for the adult to become current upon your immunizations," she said.
And Bryant, who's also a teacher, has a message for other parents.
"I think everyone needs to get their shots up to date, because the germs that grow around the school, there's so many of them and we don't want our kids catching anything," she said.
And if you still need to get your kids' immunized, it's not too late.
The Grayson county health department will be doing shots until the first day of school, which is Monday, August 22nd, or you can see your doctor.
For immunization requirements for Texas and Oklahoma, consult the Texas Department of State Health Services or the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Links are below.