Schools to offer free immunization clinics

Many Seymour Community School Corp. students are not current with required childhood vaccinations, a school health official has said.

Sherry Reinhart, director of health services, said the issue has become more of a concern this year due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of our kindergarten students have not been able to receive their vaccines,” she told the school board last month.

All incoming kindergarten students need to have required vaccines before beginning school. Also, all students entering sixth grade or grades 9-12 will need additional vaccines.

Required vaccines include Hepatitis A and B, Polio, DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus and Pertussis), Varicella (chickenpox), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and MCV4 (meningococcal). Recommended vaccines include influenza, HPV (human papillomavirus) and MenB (meningococcal). There is no vaccine for COVID-19 available.

According to Indiana Code, all students must be adequately immunized in order to attend school, Reinhart said.

The corporation has decided to conduct free immunization clinics this summer, in partnership with the Jackson County Health Department, to give families opportunities to get their children’s vaccines before the start of school in August.

“In talking with the health department, we realized they will not be able to handle the volume of students who need to be vaccinated,” she said. “We really want them to be vaccinated before they start school.”

The first clinic will be held Wednesday at Emerson Elementary School for students who will be attending Emerson or Cortland Elementary.

Hours for all clinics will be noon to 6 p.m.

June 9 will be for students of Seymour-Jackson Elementary followed by Seymour-Redding Elementary on June 23. Margaret R. Brown Elementary will have its clinic June 30th and a two-day clinic, July 7 and 8, will be at Seymour High School.

All incoming sixth-graders should attend the clinic where they were enrolled for fifth grade. There is no clinic for students who will be in seventh or eighth grade.

The vaccines are at no cost if a child is uninsured, but if a family has health insurance for their child, it will be billed, Reinhart said.

At first, the idea was to conduct the clinics in the school parking lots so students wouldn’t have to come into the buildings, but the health department has since requested they be held inside, Reinhart said.

The health department will be providing pop-up exam rooms to administer the vaccines.

“We would practice social distancing and everybody would wear a mask,” Reinhart said.

Letters have been sent home to families whose children need immunizations this year and follow-up calls were made to explain more about the letter and to make appointments.

Families also will be receiving documents they need to fill out ahead of time before their children go to get the vaccines.

Reinhart said she expects the clinics to go relatively smoothly.

“If we have those appointments already made, it won’t be a bunch of people showing up at the same time,” she said.

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Seymour Community School Corp. summer immunization clinics

All clinics are from noon to 6 p.m.

Wednesday – Emerson and Cortland elementary schools at Emerson

June 9 – Seymour-Jackson Elementary

June 23 – Seymour-Redding Elementary

June 30 – Margaret R. Brown Elementary

July 7 and 8 – Seymour High School