Health district offers vaccinations for children, adults

Seneca County General Health District wants to remind parents about the vaccinations it has available for children and adults.

Vaccines are provided to anyone who would need them and are covered by most insurances and Medicaid, said Rita Schank, community health nurse with the health district.

Vaccines are available for children and adults, Schank said.

Children are to receive vaccines at ages two, four and six months and at four years old before entering kindergarten. Teens are to have vaccines before seventh grade and grade 12.

Children entering school who do not have up-to-date immunization records may be excluded from school, she said.

Schank said the first visit is for parents who may be uncomfortable with the vaccines to ask whatever questions they have, and become educated about the schedule of vaccines, reactions children may have and what to do if a child has a reaction.

Andrea Cook, director of nursing, said parents are given informational material during each visit about the vaccine a child is receiving.

Vaccinations are important to help meet health district coverage rates, which need to remain at or above 90 percent. The higher coverage rates result in fewer breakthrough diseases, Schank said.

Vaccines available at the the health district for infants, children and teens are Dtap/Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis); hepatitis A and B; Hib (haemophilus b influenza); HPV; influenza, meningitis, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella); polio, pneumococcal conjugate, rotavirus and varicella (chicken pox).

Parents and patients should make sure they check with their insurance or Medicaid to be certain vaccines will be covered before making an appointment, Cook said.

Parents may be concerned about vaccinations for their children, and Schank said the department understands their concerns and makes sure they understand the importance of vaccinations based on science.

“If they are still uncomfortable and want to get one shot at a time, we make sure they get what they want and need,” she said. “We provide parents with any additional information they need and tell them to go home and do their research and call if they have any questions.”

Lead testing also is available for children. Cook said Seneca County is a high lead area and the department provides testing for children 12 months and older.

Schank said they have received a new vaccine for shingles, Shingrix, which was established by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October. The vaccine is to be used in adults ages 50 and older to protect against shingles.

Schank said the vaccine has an effective rate of 97.2 percent and is administered over two doses. she said the vaccine is on order and will be available soon.

Cook said the nursing division with the health district has programs available to the community, and staff is available if anyone has questions. If there is a service the district does not provide, she said, they are a referral source as well.

To schedule an appointment for immunizations or for further information, call the Seneca County General Health District at (419) 447-3691.