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girl receiving vaccine in her arm

Parents urged to vaccinate children before school starts

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment begins back-to-school immunizations.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) joins others around the metro area in urging parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on their childhood vaccines before school starts. New immunization requirements by the state of Kansas mean some students in the metro could be excluded from school if their vaccines are not up-to-date.

“As you put together your back-to-school list, put immunizations near the top of that list. Getting your children immunized is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your children’s health this coming school year,” says Nancy Tausz, RN and JCDHE’s Health Services division director. “Check with your doctor or immunization provider to find out what vaccines your child needs before school begins so your child does not miss school because they don’t have the required vaccinations.”

Starting Aug. 2, the new Kansas requirements include: two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine for children entering kindergarten or first grade; students entering seventh grade will need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY (meningitis) vaccine; students starting 11th grade will need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY (meningitis) vaccine if not vaccinated prior to their 16th birthday (they will need two doses if their first dose was before their 16th birthday). In addition to these new requirements, Kansas students in grades 7-12 are required to have one dose of Tdap before attending school.

The Johnson County Health Department’s two clinics offer walk-in hours for immunizations:

  • Olathe Clinic (11875 S. Sunset Drive) — Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Immunizations and Prenatal Appointments Only); and Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Mission Clinic (6000 Lamar Ave.) — Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If a parent does not have health insurance, or if their insurance does not cover vaccines, the Vaccines for Children (VCF) program offers vaccines at no cost to eligible children through health care providers enrolled in the program.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule by contacting their health care provider or the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

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