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Immunizations for children encouraged for back to school

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WATERTOWN — Back to school means back to prevention through immunizations, according to the Jefferson County Public Health Service.

The agency will host extended hours for an immunization clinic from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Public Health, 631 Meade St. Staff also will be on hand to provide educational information and offer games, prizes and activities for children.

Between vacations, family activities and other back-to-school preparations, many parents are busy, and therefore getting vaccines for their child before school might slip their mind, Jefferson County Health Planner Faith E. Lustik said.

“A lot of parents put (required vaccines) off because they’re doing other things,” she said. “It’s important to remind parents to look into that.”

While Jefferson County Public Health Service encourages parents and guardians to consult a child’s primary care provider to see what specific vaccines are required for certain ages, the agency offers the following vaccines at its immunization clinics:

Tdap — protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

Human papilloma virus — prevents diseases caused by certain types of HPV, and may prevent cancer associated with HPV.

Meningococcal – protects adolescents and college students from bacterial meningococcal disease, which causes swelling of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Varicella – protects against chicken pox.

Influenza – protects against seasonal influenza.

Ms. Lustik said officials and representatives of Jefferson County Public Health Service encourage parents and guardians to reach out to their child’s health provider and schedule immunization appointments if they have yet to do so. If they would like to make appointments for their child at this week’s immunization clinic, they can do so by visiting www.jcphs.org.

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