SCS, health department remind parents to get students vaccinated before school starts

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The first day of classes is right around the corner, and along with many other tasks parents need to get done before school starts, doctors also want you to be thinking about unwanted germs.

The Shelby County Health Department is urging parents to make sure their kids are up to date on their immunizations.

“I want to encourage people to protect their children, protect themselves [and] protect their environment," said Dr. Helen Morrow with the Shelby County Health Department.

Morrow says they haven’t noticed any illness outbreaks going around lately at the Shelby County Health Department but says that doesn’t mean parents should forgo vaccines for their kids.

“I’ve seen a lot of these diseases. They’re not pretty. They don’t always have a lot of good outcomes.”

If you’re not up to date on your vaccinations, those germs can especially spread easily through the schools as kids learn and socialize.

“Especially during the winter months when we’ll see more respiratory illnesses and things," said Morrow.

Anyone who’s involved with childcare facilities, pre-kindergarten/kindergarten, entering the seventh grade, new students to Tennessee and anyone involved in higher education is required to get certain immunizations.

Shelby County Schools has a link on its website where you can click "immunizations" and the group of people you fall into to see what’s required.

“First and foremost, we want our students safe, and if they’re immunized, we can assure that everyone around them is safe as well," said Dr. Joris Ray, SCS assistant superintendent.

Ray said they’re also planning a block party to make sure it can be a safe and healthy school year.

No appointments are needed for immunization-only clinics, and fees vary from $20 to $50 depending on the needs.

For more information on where you can go for immunizations, click here. Doctors say to bring your current vaccine record and insurance cards if you have them.