Back-to-school means back to the doctor: vaccinations

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) Back to school is right around the corner, and so are the preparations that go along with it, including medical vaccinations.

Texoma Medical Center pediatrician, Dr. Jeannine Hatt, says that the back to school season is a crucial time for vaccinations.

"Vaccinations have made a bigger difference in saving children's lives than anything else that's happened, I'd say over the last 50 years in child health," Hatt said.

She says that when kids are at school they're sharing germs constantly, making it vital for them to be protected.

With the first day of school quickly approaching, Hatt wants parents to understand that these vaccines are required for a reason.

"Other than hand washing, it's probably the number one thing that you can do to help protect your children from serious diseases," Hatt said.

Sherman ISD Director of Communications, Kimberly Simpson, urges parents to have this done before sending their kids to school.

"By state law, children are required to have certain preventable disease vaccines and so we definitely encourage our parents to try to get that handled before school starts," Simpson said.

Hatt wants to encourage parents who haven't yet taken their kids to get vaccinated to call their doctor as soon as possible.

"Any minute risk of the vaccine is so outweighed by the benefit of the vaccines," Hatt said.

There are state minimum requirements for vaccinations, but an exemption to the law can also be requested if a physician says it would be harmful for the child, or reasons of conscience like a religious belief.

A full list of exemptions and requirements can be found on the Texas Department of Health website.