Lubbock pediatrician urges vaccinations ahead of school, even virtual school

Pediatrician urges vaccinations for all children going back to school

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - With school approaching, a Covenant Health pediatrician is urging parents to get their children vaccinated, even if they’re attending school from home.

“Kids are going to be around other people, even if they do not go to traditional school” Dr. Jeremy Dalton said.

Dr. Dalton said vaccinations help develop herd immunity, to prevent the spread of disease through a community.

"That's really important and in order to maintain it, you have to have at least 93 percent of kids vaccinated. It's important that we vacatinate as many kids as possible."

The state requires parents to have certain vaccinations for their children, whether they’re learning at home or at school.

“Five year olds, they’re going to be around a lot of different kids. That’s a prime way that illness can spread, so it’s really important for kids to get their booster shots before they enter school. Most kids get the same shots at 12 months or so but by the time they enter school, they need a booster dose to make sure that the vaccines are still effective.”

The CDC reports that immunizations went down when the COVID-19 pandemic began because people were too afraid to go to the doctor or couldn’t because of stay-at-home orders. Dr. Dalton says he’s seen the decline of immunizations in Lubbock, too.

“Not only do four and five year olds need booster shots, but there’s also a set of booster shots for kids who are 11 and 12 in middle school. I think there’s a few vaccines that we give at 11 and 12, like a tetanus booster and meningitis booster and then a gardasil vaccine that prevents complications from an HPV virus.”

He’s also encouraging everyone to get a flu shot.

“This winter can be a really bad one as far as illness goes so it would be good to mitigate that in any way possible. I think a flu shot would be a really good way to do that.”

The Lubbock Health Department offers vaccines for children that have no insurance or are in the Medicaid program. Adult vaccines are also available. For more information, call 806-775-2933.

Copyright 2020 KCBD. All rights reserved.