SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– In addition to school supplies, the start of a new school year checklist should also include vaccinations. This marks the second school year since some changes in the law when it comes to immunizations.
The Wright Center which handles many vaccinations for school children knows just how important it is for kids to be immunized.
“If we can help a child, be in school, that’s our job,” Maggie Schlude, C.R.N.P with the The Wright Center said.
Last year the state’s vaccinations requirement changed, giving students five days before the start of school, instead of six months to get the state mandated vaccinations. Around this time last year, staff at the Wright Center gave out more than 1,000 last minute vaccinations. This year they are closing in on 600.
Staff saying– parents are getting the message.
“People are being proactive rather than reactive, what we saw last year. We are still doing the clinics and we are still seeing people, but the volume is less because the message is out there,” Schlude said.
Families may obtain religious or philosophical exemptions from meeting state requirements. Last year in Lackawanna County 61 kids opted out and in Luzerne County 85. Students who do not comply can be denied admission into school.
Staff at the Wright Center make it their top priority to keep students in school. They credit dedicated workers, the ability to offer free vaccinations and the ability to offered clinics on weekends, as some of the reasons why they have been successful. Their hard work caught the attention of the state. They were given an award for getting so many children immunized.
“We are trying to replicated it so that other school districts can learn from it, other school nurses, other medical corporations can learn from it, to keep kids healthy and to keep them in school,” Schlude said.
A free vaccination clinic will be held on Saturday September 1st at Scranton High School. It will run from 10 AM until 2:00 pm. Parents need to bring their child’s immunization records and an insurance card if applicable.
If you do not have insurance you will be given the vaccinations free of charge.