Beat the back-to-school rush for vaccinations

A child is vaccinated at the Dougherty County Health Department. / Jessica Fairley

Southwest Georgia students will head back to the classroom in a few weeks. Parents are encouraged to get their children vaccinated now to avoid the back-to-school rush.

By getting vaccinations now parents can avoid the hassle of long wait times at the doctor's office.

"The State of Georgia has specific immunization requirements for all children entering our schools and daycare facilities," said Rebecca Snow, District Immunization Coordinator for Southwest Health District. "The vaccinations are for the protection of your children, other family members, classmates and staff they come into contact with and the community at large."

In recent years there has been an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) cases within the state. Medical professionals say vaccinations are the most successful and cost-effective public health tools parents can use to help protect against these types of preventable diseases.

According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before the age of two, the 11,000 infants born in the United States daily will need to be immunized against 14 diseases. "Don't wait until the last minute to get your child vaccinated," Snow urged. "Take care of it now so that you will have your immunization records in order and one less thing to worry about when classes start. Your county health department will be happy to assist you if you have questions and to help ensure your child's immunization records are up-to-date."

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