Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 9:01am
Pilot Project to Give Free Vaccines to Kids at 2 Middle Schools
Kids beginning 6th grade this week are required by state law to have a Tdap vaccine by October 13th. But it’s not the only vaccine recommended at this age. Pre-teens, defined as kids 11-12 years old, actually need 3 additional vaccines; Meningococcal, HPV and Influenza.
To make it easy for parents, a free vaccine program will be piloted in 2 schools in September and October; at Toki Middle School and Sherman Middle School. The program will ensure that kids not only meet the school Tdap requirement, but that they’re protected from other serious diseases.
Diane McHugh, Immunization Coordinator for PHMDC (Public Health Madison & Dane County) says of the project; “We’re excited for this chance to bring multiple health care organizations together with the schools to make pre-teen vaccines easily available to all students. By bringing the vaccines to where the students are, we’re hoping to increase immunization rates, and ensure that they’re protected from 6 preventable diseases.”
The pilot program is a collaboration between PHMDC, Madison Metropolitan School District, Dane County Immunization Coalition, UW Carbone Cancer Center and Culver’s restaurants.
Just like vaccines given to babies and young children, the vaccines recommended by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for this age group protect against diseases that can be life-threatening or even fatal. This protection covers them not only from diseases they may encounter now, such as meningitis or whooping cough, but offers protection into their future from certain cancers caused by human papillomavirus.
The vaccines will be offered during regular school hours, with prizes given to all participants, including certificates for frozen custard at Culver’s restaurants. Parents of kids at these schools should watch for consent forms to be mailed home in the coming week, if they have not already signed a consent form at school registration. Parents will not need to be present for vaccines as long as consent forms are signed and returned to school in advance.
According to Madison Metropolitan School District, 33 % of incoming 6th graders this fall have not had the required Tdap vaccine. For children who do not attend the pilot project schools, check the Wisconsin Immunization Registry or contact your health care provider to determine if a Tdap, Meningococcal, HPV or flu vaccine is needed and to schedule an appointment.
For information about the school immunization pilot project
- Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302, firstname.lastname@example.org