Back to school: What you need to know about vaccines

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The first day of school is just three days away and several students are already feeling the pinch of the new year. On the first day of school students are introduced to new teachers, classmates, and potentially new germs.

Lafayette Parish School System Medical Director Doctor Donna Jean Wilson said keeping up to date on vaccinations can help protect your child from harmful diseases.

“I’m a big believer in vaccines and prevention not just treatment of diseases. We forget how bad things really were and we forget why we are protecting against them.”

Wilson said parents of younger children should double check shot records because typically these students cannot register without them.

“Usually, they are not allowed to enter or register for school unless those are in progress.”

Wilson said while vaccinations are highly recommended for students, it is not required by law in the state of Louisiana.

“You do not have to have vaccines if you personally object or if you have a medical reasons for objecting, but you need to have the declination form on file with your school.”

Wilson also said most vaccines take about two weeks for the protective benefits to kick in so it is best to vaccinate sooner than later.

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