What is an “Inform Article”?
The Inform category shows you the newest information on an issue. This can include updates, news, reports, studies, and general information. Anything that would "inform" you as to what is happening with an issue.
If you drove south on Jog Road in Boca Raton past Omni Middle School, it would be difficult to miss the message on the marquis in front of the school. It reads "No Shots, No School, No Kidding!" The tone is serious, and with school beginning on August 22nd, it's time to act.
A complete list of the shots that are needed can be found on the Palm Beach County Health Department website. You should be aware that there are some new requirements this year. For example, children entering kindergarten must have had a 4th polio vaccination after age 4. Even if they had all 4 shots before age 4, they'll have to have a 5th vaccination. Other changes in the rules can be found in the Immunization Guidelines published by the Florida Department of Health.
What can you do if your child hasn't received all of the necessary vaccinations? There are plenty of places to go to get the shots, and some are even free. You can visit your personal physician, go to a local medical provider (like a quick-care clinic), stop by one of the Palm Beach County Health Department Health Centers or check the schedule of the Palm Beach County Health Department Immunization Van to find out when it will make a stop near you.
With the "no shots, no school, no kidding" message being widely distributed, we can be pretty certain that all the children in enrolled in school have been vaccinated, right? Not necessarily. In fact, parents can apply for an exemption to the rules. Last year in Palm Beach County, out of a total of 14,548 new kindergarten students, there were 718 medical exemptions, 189 religious exemptions and hundreds more temporary, 30-day exemptions. The bottom line is that, while most students have been vaccinated, around 6 per cent will receive permanent exemptions.
Why is it so important to make sure your children are immunized? According to the Florida Department of Health, we vaccinate "to protect them from disease, disability, and death," and "to protect other children who are not immune from our children if our children develop one of the vaccine-preventable diseases." Also, because we have so many foreign visitors in the state of Florida, it would be easy for any of the communicable diseases to be reintroduced into our community.
Barring an exemption, the vaccinations will be a necessity, so take the time now to be sure your child's shots are up to date. By making sure that almost every student in Palm Beach County is immunized, we can stop an outbreak if a disease is introduced. No kidding.