Spike in vaccinations ahead of school year

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Patee Market

Patee Market

The St. Joseph Health Department is seeing an increase in the number of people coming in for vaccinations with the start of the upcoming school year right around the corner.

Connie Werner, Clinic Nurse Supervisor with the Health Dept. said this week the number of people coming in for back to school vaccinations has gone up.

“The state of Missouri requires children to have certain vaccinations in order to go to school.  Unless you have a medical or a religious exemption those are required, at least for public schools prior to walking into the door that first day,” Werner said.

Students in the St. Joseph School District head back for the first day of classes Monday.  Werner said many parents are coming in this week to get their children’s vaccinations up to date.

“With multiple people coming down the wait time unfortunately increases as there is more people trying to get through,” Werner said. “It’s a walk-in clinic.”

It’s an average trend the health department sees.  In 2015 during the month of June Werner said the health department gave 136 shots, in July that number increased to 299 and jumped up to 765 shots in August.

“Kindergartners have their set of Kindergarten shots, 8th grade shots and now Senior shots,” Werner said. “We call them grade shots but it’s really based on the child’s age.”

The St. Joseph Health Department is open Monday through Friday for vaccinations from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“As long as you’re checked in by that time you’ll get your shot,” Werner said. “Please bring your shot record with you so we know what shots are needed to give.”

She said immunizations have come a long way to keep everyone healthy.

“This is such a progress in science,” Werner said. “The diseases that used to kill people off not a huge long time ago we now don’t know what those are because the immunizations have stopped those diseases from being in our societies.  To keep everyone vaccinated helps to keep everyone healthy not only the child getting the shot but for those around them that can’t get that shot as well.”