Johnson County health clinics see surge of children seeking immunizations

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OLATHE, Kan. — As parents get ready to shop for back-to-school supplies this weekend, local health agencies are also urging them to make sure their children are vaccinated.

There’s a surge in parents seeking shots for their kids at Johnson County’s health clinics.

New immunization requirements in Kansas can prevent children from starting school on time if their vaccines are not up to date. Many parents are aware of problems the nation has seen with children not receiving the measles vaccine. Measles outbreaks have plagued New York and many want to make sure their kids have protections that are required by law.

“They need to know that there are two vaccines that have been added to the requirements,” said Nancy Tausz, Johnson County’s health services division director. “Hepatitis A and Meningitis vaccine. What we’ve done is spread it out so not everybody in all grades need to have everything this year. This year, kindergarteners and first graders need to have two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine.”

In Missouri the state requires TDAP vaccines for grades 8 through 12. One dose of meningitis for grades 8 to 10 and two doses of meningitis by grade 12.

Although these vaccines can be expensive, Tausz says cost should not be a barrier. The Affordable Care Act covers immunizations at 100 percent and there’s a Vaccines For Children program in Johnson County that covers the costs for immunizations for low-income families that qualify.

Immunizations clinics are open Monday through Friday in Johnson County. You can also get the vaccines through your doctor or a drug store like CVS or Walgreens.

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