Doctors say kids aren’t getting critical shots before school starts

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Credit: WINK News

Doctors are warning there is one critical appointment you need to make for your child before they head back to class, whether it’s virtual or in person.

School starts in two weeks, and some students will be back on campus while others begin the year virtually. Either way, the Florida Department of Health says all public and private school students must be up to date on their vaccines.

Gibzon is excited to start pre-K next week. There’s just one thing he needs before he can be reunited with his friends. It’s not fun, but mom Tamara Stelmazek knows it’s the best way to protect her child.

“The best way to protect them is to get their vaccines; that’s one of the easy simple and effective ways to do so,” she said.

With school starting in one week, Dr. Nicole Bruno is concerned many kids still need to come in for a physical and vaccinations.

“We estimate it’s about 20 to 25% less well visits since January,” Bruno said.

It’s a problem that expands beyond her patients. A chart from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a nationwide decline in the number of children getting vaccinations.

“Because of limitation and probably access, a lot of places closed down when we were going through COVID and then people are just afraid to go to the doctor,” Bruno said.

Her message: take care of it now, because it’s one extra layer that will help schools protect students like Gibzon.

“Think of our immune system as armies and if we’ve used up our army on a bug, we don’t have an army to fight the next one,” Bruno said.

If you don’t have a pediatrician, you can always schedule immunizations through your county’s health department. Click here for information on how to do that.

RESOURCE: CDC’s guide to immunizations

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