KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Health departments in the metro are offering many regular clinics and special events (see list below) for kids to get back-to-school shots. Without those vaccinations, they risk not being allowed in school.
Before Ryan Williams enters seventh grade in the Kansas City, Kansas School District, he must have a TDAP booster shot.
"So you don't get sick and get out of school. You have to stay in school," Ryan said.
Wyandotte County health officials say school districts are serious now about notifying parents whose kids need vaccines, and telling them they won't be admitted without proof of vaccination or an exemption.
"We had one child today that had already received three notices. So it's just to the parents' benefit that they get the kids in now rather than waiting," said Dianetta Nicholson, a registered nurse with the health department.
Nicholson says it's better to come this week when there are plenty of empty chairs in the waiting area than next week when those chairs will be full.
Alvina Union thought ahead. Her kindergartner got his shots a few weeks ago.
"I work a lot, work more than 100 hours a week, so the best for me is to get everything done before school starts," she said.
The mother also recognizes the value of vaccination in light of measles outbreaks in the past year.
"You really gotta keep up on that," Union said.
Wyandotte County is also urging parents to get their kids vaccines that aren't required for school but are still recommended. That meant Ryan got two more shots to protect against meningococcal disease and HPV, the human papilloma virus.
The Mid America Immunization Coalition will hold a family walk and rally called "Vaccines Work KC!" on Sunday, August 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. at J.C. Nichols Fountain on the Country Club Plaza.
Immunization events include:
Back to School Extended Hours
When: August 3, 2015 starting 8:30 am
Where: Clay County Public Health Center
800 Haines Dr., Liberty, MO 64068
Contact Info: Doris Egli
When: All of August
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am-3:45 pm
Where: Jackson County Health Department
313 South Department, Independence, MO 64050
Contact Info: Sharon Engleman
Every Child School-Ready Day One
When: August 1, 2015 9:00 am
Where: Wyandotte County Back to School Fair
Boys and Girls Club
1240 Troup Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66104
Contact Info: Charlotte Square
Back 2 School Walk-In Clinics
When: August 10, 2015 starting 8:30 am
Where: Cass County Health Department
300 Main Street, Harrisonville, MO 64701
Contact Info: Deana Clark
Back to School Clinic
When: August 8, 2015 9:00 am
Where: Kansas City Health Department
2400 Troost Ave, Kansas City, MO 64108
Contact Info: Jelene Wynn firstname.lastname@example.org 816-394-8007
Back-To-School Immunization Extravaganza
When: August 6, 2015 10:00 am
Where: Platte County Health Department
212 Marshall Road, Platte City, Missouri 64079
Contact Info: Stacy Benninghoff
Information provided by Mid America Immunization Coalition, a program of Mother & Child Health Coalition. www.mchc.net