Doctors say vaccinations should be on back-to-school list - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Doctors say vaccinations should be on back-to-school list

The state health department requires vaccinations for nine diseases: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping cough), Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Varicella (Chicken Pox). The state health department requires vaccinations for nine diseases: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping cough), Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Varicella (Chicken Pox).
Each vaccination is required before kids start Kindergarten in Missouri. Each vaccination is required before kids start Kindergarten in Missouri.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Pencils, pens, and calculators are all on the back to school list, but doctors say vaccines should be too.

Missouri schools require documentation of up-to-date immunization status. The state health department requires vaccinations for nine diseases: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Whooping cough), Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Varicella (Chicken Pox).

Each vaccination is required before kids start Kindergarten in Missouri. But, if they move to the state in a later grade, they still need to be vaccinated with the correct number of doses for that grade.

Students also need a booster Tetanus shot in the eighth or ninth grade. Pediatrician Dr. Carmelita M. Hudson-Kane said they need the booster shot because that's usually about 10 years after their previous Tetanus shot, and there tend to be more injuries at that age.

Dr. Hudson-Kane said kids are exposed to more germs and diseases typically when they start school.

"The school setting is definitely an increased environment for spreading, for spreading disease," said Hudon-Kane.

Dr. Hudson-Kane said vaccinations are important to prevent the spreading of dangerous diseases.

"It's important because vaccines cover viruses that are otherwise not treatable, we are trying to do prevention," said Hudson-Kane. "We don't vaccinate for a lot of the common colds that are found in school age children and you develop your own immunity once you get the sniffles or once, so we don't vaccinate against a lot of them, the purpose of the vaccination is the prevent bacteria or viruses, that are very pathogenic which means that cause significant disease."

But she said people have been reluctant to the shots in the past.

"People were afraid that perhaps there was increased risk with autism related to vaccines and the number the debate went one for years and years and that debate has kind of settled down looking back on the research and I think in the last few years more people have been more willing and I think compliant," said Hudson-Kane.

Connie Herbert, the Director of the Southeast Missouri Autism Center said research no longer shows a connection between vaccines and Autism. But Herbert said parents need to use caution and still pay attention to the potential risks.

You can see a link to the required Missouri school vaccinations here.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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