Doctors urging parents to vaccinate children before heading back to school

BTS Immunizations

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Students in the Pee Dee and Horry County are officially one week away from the start of the new school year and that means parents and guardians are going through those back-to-school checklists to make sure students are prepared.

Doctors say schools are one of the biggest places where germs are spread and they’re urging parents to take those extra steps now to protect their children’s health before classes resume.

Medical experts say vaccines aren’t just for protecting children, but also protecting others in the community, as well as family and friends. The concern is the spread of preventable diseases in the classrooms.

Many parents have questions about vaccine safety, but Nachitket Datar, family medicine resident at Grand Strand Medical Center, said millions of kids and adults are vaccinated safely each year and it’s important to remember that the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh any potential risks.

Datar said with the measles and hepatitis A outbreak this year, it’s important to make sure children are up to date on their immunizations.

Doctors say certain vaccines depend on the child’s age. Parents unsure of what shots their child might need should check with their family physician.

“We’re also starting HPV vaccines at a pretty young age, around 11 years old. Anyone going to college, we also recommend meningitis these days. Anyone living in dorms, playing contact sports or sports, that’s another one to consider. So, I think the biggest one is the measles one and the Hep A is still optional, but we are still recommending kids to still get it just because it’s around and daycares and high schools, middle schools, everywhere,” said Datar.

Horry County Schools officials also want to remind parents that if their child is planning to play sports this upcoming school year, they to make sure their student also gets a required sports physical.

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All students are required by South Carolina law to provide documentation that includes the month, day, and year the vaccine was administered.

Click here for a full list of Immunization requirements for Horry County Schools students.

Information about required immunizations is available online at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. To schedule an appointment for immunizations, contact your primary care provider or call (855) 472.3432 to schedule an appointment at either of these SCDHEC clinics:

  • Conway Public Health Clinic 843.915.8800 1931 Industrial Park Rd., Conway, SC
  • Myrtle Beach Public Health Clinic 843.488.8407700 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, SC

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