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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
5:55 AM Thu, Nov. 15th

Back-to-school shots clinic is Saturday

The Yavapai County Health Department will be offering back-to-school shots for children from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Prescott office at 930 Division St. No appointment is necessary. Parents can bring their children and just "walk in" during scheduled clinic hours. They should be sure to bring their child's shot records.

Arizona law requires children to provide proof of immunizations for eight diseases when they enroll in any public, charter, private or parochial school. Children must have proof that they received two doses of the MMR vaccine, four doses of polio vaccine, three doses of hepatitis B and five doses of diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DtaP/DTP) vaccine.

Giving children three doses of hepatitis B vaccine and a second dose of the MMR vaccine is a new requirement of the Arizona School Immunization law. The Arizona Department of Health Services expects that students entering the 7th grade in the 2002-03 school year will feel the greatest impact of the new shot requirement.

Parents can avoid getting shots for their children by filing for medical or personal exemptions based on religious or other beliefs.

Although Yavapai County has the highest "personal exemption" rate of any county in Arizona, the health department recommends strongly that all children get back-to-school shots.

Measles, mumps and pertussis diseases still exist, a health department nurse said, but epidemics are rare because of the vaccines available.

If an epidemic does break out, children who are not immunized will not be able to attend school classes until the epidemic is over.

Call the health department at 771-3515 to schedule back-to-school shots. For more information see the Web site www.whyimmunize.org.