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School Year About To Start; Have Your Kids Gotten Their Vaccines?

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Tracey Leong joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2014 as a general...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Summer is winding down and that means school is just around the corner. With a new school year comes new health rules.

Tracey Leong has the details on the vaccinations your children need.

These new requirements are for kindergartners and seventh graders. It’s estimated that there are 5,000 students that need their vaccines in Baltimore.

Five-year-old Durrell took it like a champ—with not one but two shots. Staying up to date on his vaccination records is something his mom takes very seriously.

“My niece passed away from H1N1 and it was all because the vaccine wasn’t ready and by the time she got it, it was too late,” said Nicole Queen.

So when the new rules came out from the state health department, she didn’t waste any time.

Kindergartners need two chicken pox vaccinations and seventh graders need a pertussis booster and dose of meningitis vaccines.

“These diseases can be very severe and can lead to significant complications,” said Dr. Cheryl De Pinto, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The new state requirements are designed to give children a longer lifetime immunity, especially when they’re in a school setting—where diseases can spread quickly.

“The main concern is whether or not this is an extra vaccine the student will need and indeed it’s not,” said Dr. Judith Dubose, Baltimore Health Department.

Students have 20 days from the start of school or they can be excluded from attending classes until they show proof of vaccination.

“I work with kids that are sick all the time so it’s really hard when you see a child dying when it could have been prevented by a shot,” Queen said.

And they can focus on getting ready to head back to school.

The Druid Health Clinic is walk-in only. It is recommended to get in early to avoid the long lines. For more information on the clinic and its schedule, click here.

If your child doesn’t have a healthcare provider, they can go to their local health department and get vaccinated for free. For more information, click here.

For more information on immunizations, click here.

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