Certain Pocahontas County Students Must Be Vaccinated Before Going Back To Class Next Year
Marlinton, WV – If your child is entering the 7th or 12th grade in Pocahontas County schools in the fall of 2012, there are two vaccines you need to know about now. Pocahontas County health nurse Linda McCoy says the two vaccines will be a requirement for these two groups of students.
“One is Meningococcal and one is Tdap, which is Tetanus, Diphtheria, and acellular Pertussis, which is a booster to Whooping Cough that they’re requiring all 7th grade and 12th grade enterers this year,” says McCoy. “You have no choice, you have to have it.”
She says the vaccinations are being required by the state health department. The Meningococcal vaccine is meant to prevent bacterial meningitis, an inflammation of the brain that can be fatal. According to information from the Centers for Disease Control the disease is most common in infants and young adults aged 16 to 21.
“It usually is where there is a large number of people living and it’s highly contagious,” says McCoy. “This is the one that they didn’t give it until kids went to college, they were freshman; this prevents that.”
Pertussis is more commonly known as Whooping Cough, and was thought to be all but eradicated. But there’s been a resurgence of cases in recent years.
McCoy says for many parents, the first step is to contact your private physician. She says the health dept does have vaccines available, but they also have specific guidelines determining who is eligible to receive them.
“Our vaccine is earmarked; it’s a Vaccine for Children program and the federal government provides it and there’s guidelines as to who we can and cannot immunize with this,” she says. “Now if a child goes to their private physician and they do not carry vaccines, then if they’ll just fill out a form, and they can bring it up here and we can give it. We can also give [it] to those with Medicaid or CHIP [WV Child Health Insurance Program].”
McCoy says the most common side effects of the vaccines are soreness or redness at the site of the injection and a mild fever in some children. She reminds parents that all rising 7th and 12th graders must have the vaccines prior to entering school in the fall.