Kids across Gaston County are heading back to school, and the Health Department will be offering multiple opportunities in August and September for parents to get required shots for their children.
North Carolina law requires that kindergarteners, 6th graders, and college students to have certain immunizations. Kindergarteners and 6th graders who do not have these shots by September 25 will not be allowed to return to class until their immunizations are up-to-date.
“Vaccines are commonplace now, so it’s easy to forget they are one of our best defenses against deadly and devastating diseases,” Health Director Chris Dobbins said. “But for vaccines to work, the majority of the population needs to be vaccinated. That’s why these shots are required at certain ages.”
Vaccines prevent a number of diseases, including pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Staying current on the pertussis vaccine is especially important this year, as the Centers for Disease Control is reporting our nation is on pace to have the highest number of whooping cough cases since 1959.
The Health Department is offering all required vaccines at its regular Immunizations Clinic on Hudson Boulevard and at Highland Health Center weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. There is no charge for the vaccines, but the Health Department will file insurance if the patient has it.
Additional opportunities have been scheduled:
• Immunizations Late Clinic, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Aug. 20, 27 and Sept. 10, main Health Department on Hudson
• Kindergarten physicals and shots, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 20-21, main Health Department on Hudson; 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 22, Highland Health Center
• Back-to-School Immunization Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon, Sept. 15, main Health Department on Hudson
Walk-in or schedule an appointment at any of our locations by calling 704-853-5000. For information on which shots your child needs, visit www.gastonpublichealth.org.