Clinics feeling back-to-school immunization rush

August 15, 2011 3:31:44 AM PDT
School starts next week for many children, and if you haven't checked your child's shot record yet, you should. The meningitis vaccine is required for college students for the first time. But now, there's an interesting new trend that could make those lines even longer.

The line wrapped along the Children's Museum of Houston, where parents waited to get free vaccines for their children. It's free on Thursdays to the first 150 people.

"I had to wait out there for an hour but it was worth it," father Carlos Trejo said.

"It really, really, really helped out a lot," parent Magda Pena said.

The city of Houston's vaccination clinics are busy, but it's next week when they expect to be slammed. Shots are given at a reduced rate, and while parents like that, not all their kids are happy to be here.

"Some kids you can talk them into it and some just have a fear," said Gloria Little with the Houston Health Department.

Many shots are given at the pediatrician's office, where Kelsey-Seybold doctors have spotted an interesting trend.

"I think vaccine refusal is finally kind of dying out," Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Immunization Director Dr. Melanie Mouzoon said.

More kids are getting their shots now that the vaccine-autism controversy is dying down. The British researcher who made that claim has been discredited because he allegedly falsified his research.

"They're also beginning to understand that science has shown that autism is not caused by vaccines and so very few people are refusing vaccines now," Dr. Mouzoon said.

And that means fewer outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses, like recent measles epidemics. And the new vaccines and boosters that come out almost every year will also prevent outbreaks.

"The kind of illnesses that we can prevent are increasing and so really, it's good news," Dr. Mouzoon said.

But it also means parents are going to have to work to make sure their kids have all the new shots that they need.

They're even suggesting parents just add a flu vaccine with the back-to-school shots. This year it's ready earlier and now there's plenty of it. For information on free and reduced cost vaccine clinics in our area, visit the following websites:


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