RENO — Although “back to school” may look a little different this fall, one thing hasn’t changed: the need for vaccinations. Immunization officials are reminding parents that students in Nevada must be up to date with certain required vaccinations to attend school, regardless of whether families choose in-person, hybrid or distance learning.
Each year numerous health organizations host back-to-school health clinics to help parents get their children ready for the school year. But Heidi Parker, executive director of Immunize Nevada, said with the pandemic they’ve had to adjust their plans.
“Many regularly scheduled doctors’ visits were cancelled or postponed because of COVID-19, which means many children and babies are behind on their vaccines as they get ready for a new school year,” Parker said. She added that there will be fewer back-to-school health fairs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they’ll require masks, social distancing and other precautions.
Parker urged families to contact their primary healthcare provider as soon as possible to make arrangements for their children, adding that the Vaccines for Children program is one option that can offset the costs.
Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program is a federally funded program that helps eligible families receive inexpensive or free vaccines, which are provided by the government and administered in a doctor’s office or clinic. Families can check eligibility at www.vfcnevada.org.
All Nevada students must be fully vaccinated to attend childcare, school, or university, and there are specific requirements for students who are new to the state, or entering kindergarten, 7th grade or universities.
Parents can visit https://immunizenevada.org/back2school for a complete list of vaccination requirements. Then they can access their immunization records for free at https://izrecord.nv.gov, or they can call their physicians and ask.