WELLSBURG - This fall West Virginia students entering seventh and 12th grades are required to receive two booster vaccinations, and a special clinic will be held next weekend for families unable to afford them.
In cooperation with the Brooke County Board of Education, the Brooke County Health Department will hold the clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 4 at Brooke High School.
Before entering school, seventh-graders must have a booster dose of the TDaP vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; and 12th-graders must have a dose of the TDaP and MCV4 meningitis vaccine if their first dose of MCV4 was before age 16.
The doses were added last year to immunizations required of students entering school. Since last fall, the health department has held a handful of clinics to promote awareness of them.
Participants of the clinic should be enrolled with Medicaid or the West Virginia Children's Insurance Program. Those without Medicaid are asked to pay a $14.49 fee, but no one will be turned away.
Karen McClain, the health department's administrator, said those with health insurance should contact their family doctor about scheduling a vaccination. She added it's a good idea to take children and teens in for a checkup before a new school year starts and to check on immunizations required for various ages. But in some cases, doctors don't offer immunizations, often because of the cost involved, and those families may arrange for them to be done through the health department.
Those planning to participate in the clinic should call (304) 737-3665 to set up an appointment.
McClain said the health department can provide information about the required vaccinations. She said sometimes doctors practicing in Ohio aren't aware of differences in requirements between the state and West Virginia.
She said an increase around the nation in cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, and meningitis led to the requirement of vaccines against the diseases at the older grade levels last year.
State law requires children to receive five doses of a vaccination against diptheria, pertussis and tetanus before they begin school and students to be vaccinated against meningitis before entering seventh grade.
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