Health experts have last minute reminders before start of school

Published: Aug. 7, 2019 at 7:07 AM CDT
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Medical professionals are reminding parents to keep up-to-date on vaccinations now that the start of school is around the corner. The first day for Ouachita Parish schools is August 12th.

"We do see parents starting to avoid vaccinations for various reasons, some are religious reasons, some are personal reasons, some people are afraid of potentially harming their children," explains Nurse Practitioner Tanasha Varino. "However, there are a lot of pros and cons, and I recommend parents educate themselves on the pros and cons but again we recommend what the CDC recommends."

Tanasha Varino is a Nurse Practitioner with St. Francis Medical Center.

She says enclosed spaces, like schools, are breeding grounds for illnesses and diseases, so it's important to make sure your kids are protected.

"Any disease that a child is not vaccinated against does put them at risk for developing that disease," says Varino. "Recently there has been an outbreak of MMR, Measles, Mumps, Rubella in California. I haven't seen any of this in my personal practice, but it's definitely a risk."

Varino says she sees people trying to use home remedies in place of vaccinations. She says some illnesses and diseases can be very serious, so she says it's best to get vaccinations to make sure you're safeguarded against something like Polio.

The Louisiana Department of Health's website says schools require proof of vaccinations or documentation that you're in the process of getting vaccinated before school starts.

However, "the child’s parent or guardian may request an exemption in writing for medical or religious/philosophical reasons," according to the Louisiana Department of Health's website.

For kids less than four years old attending Pre-K, Daycare or Headstart programs the Louisiana Department of Health says they require kids to have the following vaccines:

Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV)

Diphtheria Tetanus Acellular Pertussis vaccine (DTaP)

Inactivated Poliovirus vaccine (IPV)

Haemophilus Influenza Type B vaccine (Hib)

Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV)

Rotavirus vaccine (RV)

Varicella vaccine (VAR)

Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine (MMR)

The Department of Health requires the following vaccines for children over the age of four, and those entering Kindergarten and first-time enterers:






The Louisiana Department of Health requires the following vaccines for middle schoolers:

Tetanus-Diphtheria Acellular Pertussis vaccine (TdaP)




Meningococcal Vaccine (MCV4)

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