County health departments busy with back to school shots

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OKLAHOMA - There’s a risk for outbreaks of infectious diseases at child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is encouraging parents and young adults to make sure you’re up to date with recommended vaccines during this busy time of year.

Our crews stopped by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department where their staff is slammed with patients waiting last minute to get necessary shots required by law.

Students will be turned away at school without proof of vaccinations.

"It's been really busy at all three of our locations," said Lynnda Parker, Clinical Supervisor, Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

Parker is a clinical supervisor, busy seeing patient after patient needing their back to school immunizations.

"We have a waiting room full of people waiting sometimes up to two or three hours because they need to get their shots," Parker said.

The vaccines are highly recommended by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

That's because, at child care centers and schools, there's a higher risk for disease outbreaks.

"If you're not vaccinating, you're putting other kids at risk," Parker said.

There are those who opt out of the vaccinations.

Here's the state health department's breakdown: the highest amount of exemptions coming from the Oklahoma City metro area and Tulsa.

For the 2015 to 2016 school year, 1.65 percent filed for an exemption, 65 percent of those people claim personal reasons, the rest for medical and religious claims.

Each exemption has to get approval from the state.

With more than a handful of shots required by the state, it's all for a purpose - to protect kids from diseases like measles, mumps and chickenpox.

"We're trying to prepare for the future so, if we give it to them now, they'll be prepared for later on in life," Parker said.

For information regarding Oklahoma’s back to school vaccination laws, click here.

For a full schedule of Oklahoma’s Caring Vans serving those without insurance, click here.

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