DPHSS offers free immunization clinics - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DPHSS offers free immunization clinics

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - With several outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases last school year, the Department of Public Health is hoping residents will make the most of free immunization outreaches as they prepare for the new school year. "Before a child can enter school, they must be properly vaccinated in order to enroll," noted Annette Aguon, DPHSS's immunization manager.

In hopes to get as many kids vaccinated as possible before the start of the new school year, the agency is conducting free immunization outreaches over the next two weeks.

It's proving to be an effective tool as more than 70 vaccines were given at today's outreach event in Agat and supplies ran out before the event ended. Aguon says vaccinations are critical to prevent the outbreak of diseases like whopping cough and the mumps.

Such make for diseases that she says could have been prevented had parents ensured their children's shot records were up to date. "We do have a minimum school requirement for certain vaccines such as MMR, Hepatitis B, Pertussis, and polio, and so depending on the child's previous vaccination history, we have to see if they're up to date or if they need any other shots to continue or complete that vaccination series," she explained.

At Adacao Elementary School, immunizations are no joke as students and employees are required to maintain up to date shot records. "It's really very important for us to ensure that we have to update our immunization at the beginning of the school year," said school principal Evangeline Chang. She added that the school's nurse goes as far as sending two-month notices to employees with records about to expire as they don't want an outbreak during the school year.

For parents like Laura Taitano, who took her sons to the outreach today, her kids are protected for communicable diseases and up to date on all their immunizations. "To keep the child healthy and prevent them from getting sick," she said.

Another free immunization clinic will be held on Tuesday, August 2 at the Micronesia Mall's north wing below K.D. Toy Store from 10am until noon.  Parents are reminded to bring their child's current shot record.

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