Getting vaccinated before the first day of school

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley families are making sure their kids get vaccinated before the first day of school. And before the new, state immunization law, goes into effect.

Daniel Bono is being a patient before he can play ball. The 17-year-old Clovis High student is getting his sports physical, so he can pitch for his school team, but he's also getting a dose of disease prevention before heading back to class.

Daniel said, "We've always been up-to-date with all of our shots and everything and haven't really had any sicknesses in the family.

To continue that good health, Daniel gets a meningitis booster, one of the last few childhood shots he'll receive.

Daniel's doctor, pediatrics chief at Kaiser Permanente Fresno, Dr. Casey Gray says this is the time of year when he sees a rush of patients.

"We're doing a lot of catch up immunizations," explained Dr. Gray. "We give a hepatitis b at birth and then we start our typical immunization pattern at 2-months-old and we immunize all the way through roughly 16-years-old."

According to Dr. Gray, he says some kids whose parents delayed or chose not to get them vaccinated, are now coming in to get their shots, since this is the last year they can opt out, before the new state law takes effect, requiring almost all school children to be immunized.

Dr. Gray said, "Starting in July of 2016, that kind of broad, personal exemption clause will be eliminated so at that point, the only children who will not be vaccinated will be those who have a medical indication for not receiving immunizations."

Dr. Gray says Kaiser fully supported the passage of the controversial law, and explains why, to his patients' families, who may have concerns about vaccinations.

Along with discussing the required vaccinations, Dr. Gray also talks with his patients and families about the recent, real-life example of how a disease can spread among unvaccinated people.

Dr. Gray said, "The recent outbreak of measles down in Disneyland actually prompted a lot of parents to come down and bring their kids in and talk about how they can catch their children up with immunizations."

Dr. Gray said now is the time to talk to your child's pediatrician to see if your child has missed any shots to keep them healthy in school and at home.

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