Beat the rush: Back to school immunizations


Under Texas law, all students need to be fully vaccinated before the first day of school, this includes everything from polio shots, to hepatitis, and several others.

First day of school for Waco ISD students, August 17th can easily sneak up on many parents.

“You know, it’s hard to believe summer is almost over, but once August hits, the lines to get shots will be really long at your doctor’s office, if you go to a pharmacy, if you come to us, wherever you go to get your shots, everyone’s trying to do that,” said Kelly Craine, Public Health Information Specialist at McLennan County Health District.

That’s why Waco ISD and the McLennan County Public Health District are joining forces for the first time.

“WISD is providing locations, and the buses, and we’re providing the nurses and the vaccines,” said Craine.

The district has a list of immunization requirements online divided by years and grades. You can find that list HERE.

“Well, of course these are shots that are required throughout the state when you think of those 4 year old shots you’re thinking about booster shots, the classic booster shots, so you’re getting your measles, mumps and rubella, things like that. When you get to the older kids they are going to start to get their re-booster for tetanus, they’re also going to get a re-booster for chicken pox and then they are going to get their HPV vaccine, and then there is now the meningococcal vaccine, so they are going to have a lot of things that are going to protect them,” added Craine.

Those are requirements for students through 12th grade, and under Texas law, there are exemptions.

1. When a physician writes a medical exemption stating that the vaccine would be harmful for the child.

2. When a parent chooses not to vaccinate because of a religious, ethical, safety or other concern.

Texas law does allow for children who have not been vaccinated to be excluded from school if there is an emergency or epidemic declared by the commissioner of public health. 

“Then you need to contact the Department of State Health Services located in Austin, and talk to them, they will provide you with a form, that form needs to be notarized and you have to provide it to your school,” said Craine.

But for everyone else, the Waco ISD yellow school bus is ready to take anyone who needs a shot.

“If you come to the bus bring your insurance information whatever it may be and they’ll work with you, our nurses will make sure you get what you need and make sure you have what you need,” said Craine.

Schedule of immunization bus clinics:

Thursday, July 12:

12:45-2:30 pm: Kate Ross Homes

2:45-4:30 pm: South Waco Elementary

Thursday, July 17:

8:45-11 am: Estella Maxey Place

12:30-2:30 pm: Dewey Rec Center

2:45-4:30 pm: Tennyson Middle

Thursday, July 19:

12:45-2:30 pm: Kate Ross Homes

2:45-4:30 pm: South Waco Elementary

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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