Lansing (WLNS)– It might not officially be a season, but it comes around every year. Back to school season.
Backpacks, pencils, shoes– all things you might find on a back-to-school list, but one thing that slips the minds of many parents are immunizations.
“That’s one thing that the school requires also is that they do have their shots,” East Lansing resident and dad Gabriel Garza said.
Garza says he tries to get his son Elijah caught up on those shots before the end of summer to avoid the stress.
“As much as you read about it nowadays with people not wanting to get their kids to get the immunizations… I know it’s a personal preference, but me, that’s something I would never ever lack my child of because I know there’s so many things out there that your kids can catch,” Garza said.
Health officials say many schools this year are enforcing first-day exclusion, meaning if your child doesn’t have vaccination documentation, they can actually be sent home on the first day.
“They can say no you can not start school today and send parents away with a very frustrated student,” Terry Adams, Section Manager for the Immunizations Division of the Department of Health and Human Services said.
Adams said says parents are required to show a complete immunization record.
“It’s really for new enrollees, so kindergarteners, seventh graders or anyone new to a new school district,” Adams said.
Parents are also required to provide a waiver if they choose not to vaccinate their kids for medical or philosophical reasons, but DHHS encourages everyone to make sure they’re up to date on all shots.
Adams says appointments fill up quickly this time of year, so parents should make sure their kids get those vaccinations as soon as possible.
Flu shots are not required by schools, but DHHS also encourages everyone to get those as well.