WYOMING — A new school year’s arrival is a reminder for parents that families should be up to date with the vaccines they need, according to a Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) official.
“Certain important vaccines are required for all youth attending our schools and childcare facilities, with other vaccines also recommended to help keep Wyoming families healthy,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state epidemiologist and acting state health officer with WDH. “So for some families, getting ready for the school year may mean a visit to a medical professional for shots.”
Harrist said vaccines are safe and effective and offer important protection against a number of preventable diseases.
“We see cases every year in Wyoming of diseases that can generally be prevented with vaccinations,” she said. “In some areas of the country, there have been recent outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles that had mostly been eliminated from the United States. These outbreaks have been largely due to community pockets of lower vaccination rates.”
“We want Wyoming families to protect their children from preventable diseases, which can have serious health consequences, while also helping to protect our communities and especially vulnerable residents such as newborns or those rare individuals who can’t receive vaccines,” Harrist said.
“It’s a good idea to find out before any school vaccine-related deadlines if there are vaccines your child needs. The medical professionals your family sees regularly should have details on immunization history. Parents may also want to check on their own vaccination needs,” Harrist said. Another option for vaccine record information is the Wyoming Immunization Registry (WyIR), operated by WDH.
The WDH Wyoming Vaccinates Important People (WyVIP) program provides vaccines, including those required for Wyoming school attendance, at no cost to participating providers for insured, resident children from birth until the day before their 19th birthday. Other children may be covered by the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. Some adults may also be eligible for WDH help with vaccines.
While these programs provide the vaccines to providers for free, there may be small administration fees.