Parents Crowd Tulsa Clinics For New Student Vaccines

Thursday, August 11th 2011, 5:20 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Among the items on the back to school check list this year is updated immunization requirements.

All incoming seventh graders in Oklahoma must be immunized with the Tdap vaccine before the first day of school. They cannot go to class until they get that shot.

Parents are rushing to get their kids all the shots required by the state before classes start and this year, there's a new one for seventh graders.

"Couldn't get him into his regular doctor before the 18th, but he can't start school without having the shot, so we're here," said Kelly Thies, a parent.

"We're switching school districts to Union and to get him enrolled, we had to get him the shot," said another parent, Sheila Hasenjaeger.

Starting with seventh graders the 2011-2012 school year, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is requiring the Tdap vaccine. Just like the letters in its name, it protects against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

3/10/2011 Related Story: Whooping Cough Vaccine Mandatory For Oklahoma Seventh Graders This Fall

The state is making sure Oklahoma students and their families are protected because of an increase in whooping cough in California and Texas, especially among teens. Tdap offers continued protection, after a similar shot we get as young kids wears off.

See a chart of vaccines required for all Oklahoma students

"There's no grace period. They are required to have it to go ahead and complete their enrollment and they won't be able to go to school without it," Nurse Becky Grubb said.

Doctors, clinics and county health departments statewide offer the vaccines.

"I don't like them and I'm kind of nervous," student Nick Thies said."I don't think there's that much of a difference," said Stephanie Salazar, another student.

One Tulsa County clinic is seeing anywhere from 75 to 100 patients a day.

"We're getting busier as we get closer to the school enrollment time and everyone is working hard together to help get the children ready for school," Grubb said.

Make sure you bring shot records for your child.

The Health Department is able to give shots to school kids at no cost if families meet certain income requirements.