BACK TO SCHOOL REQUIRED VACCINES TO BE GIVEN AT SOMERSET COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Westover, Md. – The Somerset County Health Department will hold their annual mass back to school vaccination clinics on August 28, 2018 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, on August 31 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and again on September 7 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Free vaccinations are for students entering Kindergarten, 1st through 4th grades, and those entering 7th through 11th grades attending Somerset County Schools this fall. The clinic will be held at the health department at 8928 Sign Post Road in Westover.

For the 2018—2019 school year, all children entering Kindergarten and 1st through 4th grades are required to have the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine. Children entering 7th through 11th grades are required to have the Tdap and Meningococcal vaccines. The health department is also encouraging youth to have the Human Papillomarvirus (HPV) vaccine beginning at age 11 or 12.

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV), also known as chickenpox, used to be a common illness among children in the United States, particularly those under age 12. It is an itchy rash of spots that look like blisters and can appear all over the body and be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Chickenpox is very contagious. The varicella vaccine significantly reduces the chances of getting chickenpox. And if a child does get chickenpox after the vaccination, it tends to be a milder case and quicker recovery compared to those who contract the virus and are not immunized.

Tdap is a booster vaccine for older children, adolescents, and adults. It safely protects against three dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also called whooping cough). Pertussis is a contagious disease that causes violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. It spreads easily when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes. The cough can last for months. Tetanus causes a severe, painful tightening (spasms) of muscles, including of the jaw (‘lockjaw’), which can limit swallowing and breathing. Diphtheria is a throat infection that can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and death.

Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness. It is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children 2 through 18 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and the spinal cord.

Human Papillomarvirus (HPV) is the most common cause of various cancers. Preteens have a higher response to the vaccine than older teens. The HPV vaccine is a series of two vaccines.

No appointment is necessary. Parents must bring a current vaccination record at the time of the visit.

For more information call the health department at 443-523-1740.

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