Local doctors remind parents to stay on top of children's vaccinations

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Many students may be focused on back-to-school clothes or supplies, but parents need to make sure their kids entering kindergarten or 7th grade are up to date with their vaccinations.

The older kids need to have their Tdap booster shots, which cover tetanus, Diptheria and pertussis.

Little ones starting kindergarten also need to be vaccinated.

Dr. Hailey Nelson is a pediatrician at Valley Children's Hospital. She says it's time to fill in the vaccine gaps.

"Parents have been trying to figure out, what did we miss in the last year," she said. "That's kind of what the questions have been. Does my child need vaccines? If your child is past kindergarten, they're most likely up to date."

Fresno Unified will hold vaccine clinics beginning in August to assist families. School starts on August 12.

Approximately 70% of the students in the district have received their booster shots.

FUSD Health Services Manager Tanya Desmond says it's important parents take care of those vaccinations so kids don't miss any class time.

"We're usually very, very busy the first few days of school but if you want to avoid the rush, now's the time to get that taken care of, either through your doctor or Fresno County," she said.

Fresno County health officials have noticed a trend not just locally but around the country.

"Children have fallen behind on their childhood vaccines and we want to make sure every resident knows to make your appointment with your pediatrician now because there will be a backlog," says Fresno County Health Division Manager Joe Prado.

Dr. Nelson says it's also a good idea that kids get a check-up before school starts since so many appointments were missed during the pandemic.

"We're checking on their height and weight," she said. "We're looking at that blood pressure. We're screening our adolescents for depression."

Dr. Nelson reminds parents kids 12 and over can also get the COVID-19 vaccine as well.

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