HELENA – As we get closer to the start of the school year, health officials are reminding parents that students are required to be physically up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Lewis and Clark County Health Officials and Blue Cross-Blue Shield are teaming-up with the Care Van Program to prevent diseases like measles and chicken pox, and aiding those who may live in more rural areas who may have trouble accessing proper health care.
Diseases are easily spread from student-to-student based on close proximity of numerous in classrooms, which is the essential foundation of importance of prior vaccinations before the school year.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield will have the mobile vaccination clinic out for those in rural areas of the county.
Shelly Maag, Public Health Nurse for Lewis and Clark County says vaccines should be a priority, no matter what.
“But the rural areas, the access is a little difficult, so the caravan, Blue Cross-Blue Shield caravan collaborates with health departments throughout all of Montana and actually will help bring the vaccines to the community and so we also do um, collaborate with the caravan, and do some off-site clinics. Of course we’re not—we have some rural areas in Lewis and Clark County but uh, most of ours are in Helena, hitting the high-risk populations and trying to get to events where there are people who really need vaccines that can’t get it.”
Students entering kindergarten will need to have their TDAP, (whooping cough), Polio, MMR and Chicken Pox vaccinations.
Seventh-grade students are also required to get their second round of TDAP before receiving their quarterly class schedules.
For more information on the Care Van Program, please visit here.
Reporting by Christine Sullivan for MTN News