Free 'Back to School' Vaccine Clinics

RENO, NV - With the first day of school just about a week away, a lot of parents are scrambling to get everything ready. But before kids are sent off to school, there may be one very important thing parents need to add to their to-do list.

Between the paper and pencils, new backpacks and shoes, there is a lot to do to get kids ready for the start of school. And with that first bell ringing earlier in Washoe County, it can be easy to let some preparations slip through the cracks.

But one things parents should put at the top of their to do list- immunizations.

"A lot of diseases out there that we can prevent," Linda Gabor, public health supervisor for Washoe County Health District said.

In Washoe County, students are required to be up to date on their vaccines or risk missing school.

If your child has been at the same school for some time, odds are their vaccines are up to date but Immunize Nevada says if your family recently moved here it may be time to call the doctor.

"We know that a lot of people move to Reno, move to Nevada, and sometimes the states they are moving from don't have the same requirements," Heidi Parker, executive director for Immunize Nevada said.

If you're a parent of an incoming seventh grader, get ready to add one more thing on your back to school to do list.

"Seventh graders are required to have a TDAP booster which stands for Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis," Gabor said.

Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is making a resurgence here in Washoe County and in neighboring states.

"We've already this year had 39 cases as of July 25th and last year for the whole year we only had 22," Gabor said. "Also our neighboring state California has had over 5300 case this year so far including 3 infant deaths."

Teachers, don't forget to make your appointments as well.

"With the resurgence of pertussis and measles they are as susceptible as the students they are teaching," Parker said.

It all may seem overwhelming, but Immunize Nevada is hoping to ease the burden by hosting free vaccination clinics from now until the the beginning of school to make it easy for parents to protect their kids.

The first free clinic will be held Saturday, August 2nd at the Outlets at Legends from 10am -1pm. Only TDAP shots will be offered. Immunize Nevada will also accept insurance cards and a $20 donation is voluntary.

For more information, click on the link above.

we want them to know there are resources out there for them.