Caring Van Immunizations Taking Care Of Oklahoma Kids

Friday, October 22nd 2010, 5:21 pm
By: News On 6

By Carrie Netherton,

TULSA, Oklahoma -- As the weather gets cooler more people are lining up to get flu shots. But when it comes to our children, Oklahoma is 42nd in the U.S. for immunization coverage for children ages 19 to 35 months.

Several "Caring Vans" are traveling the state, making sure every child in Oklahoma gets the vaccinations they need.

Children are lined up - and a little curious - to see what's inside the big colorful van that sits in front of Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center.

With a smile on his face, 5-year-old Gron Tata is ready to go, although he doesn't quite know what's about to happen. He's one of the first kids in the Caring Van to get a flu shot, something that's important to his mother Sheila.

"Since the weather changes so much, there are so much viruses around, it makes it much easier, one less thing to worry about," Sheila Tata said.

The Caring Van program provides free immunizations to all Oklahoma children, that means no co-pay, and parents don't have to take time off of work.

"With us, the parent doesn't have to be present," said Caring Van Coordinator Tina Pyeatt. "The parent can just fill out the paperwork and go onto work."

"It makes life so much easier and you don't have to wait in line and it was great - good opportunity for me," Sheila said.

People have two options when it comes to getting the vaccine: the shot and the mist.

The Caring Van has a "child friendly" environment. It's full of bright colors and there's a tv to keep the

"We tell them to just watch "Nemo" and look at the TV and not pay attention to what's going on and really it's so quick that before they decide what's going on, it's over with," Pyeatt said.

That's exactly what happened with the 48 kids who stepped onto the Caring Van, we saw "no crying."

For Gron Tata, he leaves with a prize, and mom Sheila leaves with a little more peace of mind.

There are a total of "four" Caring Vans in Oklahoma, which make several stops in cities across the state.