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Central Shenandoah Health District urges parents not to wait for back-to-school immunizations

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School isn’t out yet for most students but the Central Shenandoah Health District is getting a jumpstart on reminding parents of school-age children to schedule an appointment for immunizations now.

The traditional rush for vaccines is during late summer before school starts in August.

“The Central Shenandoah Health District is encouraging everyone with school-age children to make those appointments now to get the necessary vaccines,” said Dr. Elaine Perry, Interim District Health Director. “Keeping your children up to date on vaccines helps to keep them safe from potentially life-threatening diseases. Vaccines are important to help provide immunity, so we are recommending parents act now to ensure their children are up to date on many of the vaccines that are required to return to school.”

Vaccines are available at many pediatrician’s and family physician’s offices, as well as at local pharmacies. They are often available at no cost through health insurance benefits.

For children without health insurance or who are not able to receive their vaccines through their primary care provider, school immunization clinics are being offered at the following locations.

Appointments can be made by calling the local health department at the following numbers:

  • Harrisonburg-Rockingham Health Department: 540-574-5101
  • Staunton-Augusta Health Department: 540-332-7830
  • Lexington-Rockbridge Health Department: 540-463-3185
  • Bath County Health Department: 540-839-7246
  • Highland County Health Department: 540-468-2270

Children will be able to receive vaccines regardless of insurance status, but if your child does have health insurance, please bring a copy of the insurance card.

For more information on school immunizations in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/immunization/requirements/.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.